“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.” – FDR
Interesting Zoom meeting last week. Reconnected with a group of guys I grew up with over 50 years ago in the Bronx. Outside of two individuals, I lost contact with all of them when I moved out of NYC in 1985. Diverse journeys: one became an Executive Producer on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” two dabbled in the film industry, several are self-employed, one went on to become a professional gambler. To my knowledge most are or were married with kids. I have no clue whether any have grandchildren.
Fun Zoom call! Guy talk out of the gate – the good old days, sports, etc. Then we discussed the COVID-19 pandemic. Most indicated they were optimistic about economic recovery in the U.S.; silent when I mentioned the dire straits of the global economy. A lot of Trump bashing. Minimal concern they might experience a banana republic election and the potential of history repeating itself (Bush vs. Gore). All of them too dependent on improved coronavirus testing and a vaccine so they can get on with the New Normal – travel, eating in restaurants, attending sporting events, etc. New Normal? I suggested we have entered a new era and it will take at least a decade to sort things out. More silence.
One thing that struck me about the virtual reunion, nobody talked about their children or grandchildren’s future. I never married, no children, yet extremely concerned about the future for children. My thoughts:
- What impact will all the trauma associated with the pandemic have on little people? Living with stressed out parents. Surrounded by media overkill, death, “social distancing,” disrupted schooling. We could use the resurrection of Mr. Rogers right now.
- What impact will remote learning have on the educational development for all age groups? More and more articles are surfacing addressing the pluses and minuses of the different telecommunication tools. Personally, I believe it will take several years of online teaching, before educators figure out the best way for a generation to develop.
- I remember all the things I experienced which contributed to my overall social development. Will children now experience a different form of social connectivity due to “social distancing” as we enter an era with the potential for more coronavirus pandemics? Will there be sleepovers, playdates, celebrations (e.g., birthdays, graduation parties, etc.), organized sports, after school activities, school trips, summer camp? What impact will virtual substitutions for these activities have on children?
In closing, I will continue to be a pragmatic optimist who is uncertain about the future. I have posted my views about community being one silver lining resulting from the pandemic crisis. There will be others. However, while we are busy innovating transformation, we need to take time out to focus on preparing our children for the future.