Children ready for role as tomorrow’s leaders

By Monticello Times Editorial

With global and domestic crises seemingly everywhere we look, it’s almost unthinkable to imagine a world where our children have even a remote chance to experience lives better than the ones we’ve led.

Indeed, jobs, solid economic models for changing times and optimism are in short supply as we trudge, or stumble, along.

There seems to be a growing segment of society resigned to the fact that we’ve failed our children to the point there’s nothing the next generation can do to reverse the cycles our actions and inactions have set in motion.

As there always has been throughout time, however, there is a next generation, refusing to wait patiently in the wings for its chance to shape and lead us — or, perhaps more accurately, themselves — out of the proverbial desert — untainted by cynicism and resignation; rather, driven by the energy of youth and its accompanying sense of possibility.

A collection of 18 area high school seniors representing the most accomplished of its peer group was on display Monday night, when Congresswoman Michele Bachmann recognized their achievements and celebrated their potential.

“These truly are the stars,” she said during Monday’s ceremonies. “If you look at the next generation, there are leaders that come out. There are a few kids who rise to the top as leaders.

“These are the people we’ll be looking to in the future to take over and run the nation in more ways than one. When we looked at these kids, we looked at their backgrounds, when the nominations were made. We feel we’re in very good hands for the future.”

On hand to be recognized were students from Monticello, Big Lake, Anoka, Becker, Zimmerman, Woodbury, Hill-Murray, Foley, Paynesville Area, Spring Lake Park, Sauk Rapids-Rice and Delano high schools.

Virtually all of them already have made a difference in their communities, and are ready, willing and able to do much more on a far bigger scale in short order.

These young men and women on display Monday in most cases are the products of loving, supportive, nurturing parents, to be sure. They should be commended.

But there are still many among us who have failed our children.

We ask after Monday’s reminder of what truly is important and what is possible, that we all take a look within and ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can and should to keep our children safe and healthy, and are we promoting an environment and spurring an ethos that will help them expand their fertile minds to become all that they can be?