On June 30th, 2010, Kidz2Kidz – the charity arm of my business – was invited to attend a local Pow Wow where the kids were honoured for their donations that they gave to Native Family and Child Services. The gently used sports and leisure equipment were given to a camp for native children.

The entire experience was wonderful for all of us. We saw the entrance dance, drummers and singers, young and old – all coming together and dancing. The place was set up in a circle with benches lining the circle. Through myself and Shirley we explained to the kids what we could and then we had some of the people from NFCS providing us with their knowledge.

I noticed that at this Pow Wow there was an elderly tent set up with a sign that was drawn from the children. In this tent everything was free and the elderly were honoured and taken care of. Many times throughout the day, the speaker would draw attention to this group. It really struck me how in this culture the elderly are revered and honoured.

THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR MANY OF US IN NORTH AMERICA
We are a culture that worships YOUTH and I do not necessarily mean our young, rather the idea of looking young. We will go to all costs to look and feel young. It is not my place to judge what people choose to do to their body, it is their choice. I understand that. It goes beyond that though, to a point that we have place so much importance on the latest and greatest, tossing away age and wisdom.

There was a time when the young were mentored and taught by their older peers; when experience was passed down and shared. This changed with our competitive corporate environment when people were packaged out, laid off or replaced by a younger, less expensive “commodity”. Loyalty had a place in our work environment – both ways. While I believe the tide is shifting there is one thing for sure and that is our demographics. We have an aging population. The baby boomers represent the largest market in our country, those born between 1946-1964. The number of workers aged 55 – 64 has doubled since 1989 and for those over 65 there has been an increase of 129%.

While there are some areas of business where the youth dominate – Technology in particular – there are some areas of business where experience is invaluable.

It is my vision and desire through my VOICES OF YOUTH movement to bridge this gap. We cannot undervalue the experience and knowledge of our active baby boomers – otherwise known as ZOOMERS, a term coined I believe by Moses Znaimer. The baby boomers, I feel, is one of the most, if not the most, innovative, creative group that brought greatness to our businesses. Many started with nothing but the shirt on their backs and there was only one way to go -UP. I truly feel that if we can tap into this knowledge and experience with our youth, mentor them and guide them and then LET THE YOUTH TAKE THAT KNOWLEDGE AND MAKE IT THEIR OWN, CREATE SOMETHING THAT WILL IMPACT OUR WORLD we are honouring our older population, stimulating them, challenging them to stay open to new ways and ideas, yet fostering our young leaders of tomorrow. By bridging and uniting the young and old we will see a powerful and united country emerge; One to be reckoned with!

I wish everyone a great weekend. The weather here has been crazy hot! I hope you are treating your bodies well – drink a lot of water and get plenty of rest.

All my love,

Sandra

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