Sunday, July 20, 2014

Looking Ahead

We had a wedding in the family last week. Friends and relatives gathered from near and far to join in celebrating with the happy couple. We shared food, drink and affection with the bride and groom and with each other. We also shared music, but for those of us not yet totally deaf, it made the celebration just a bit uncomfortable. Uncomfortable but, given the occasion, bearable.

One of the side benefits of the gathering was a chance to meet members of the groom’s family, see members of the bride’s family, and meet friends of both. The bride, one of our granddaughters, had invited two of her Peace Corps friends, to be in the wedding party, as well as her closest friend from high school. We knew her, but not the others.

At dinner for the wedding party the night before, we sat with the attendants around us. Young, healthy, perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect teeth . . . and perfect goals in their lives. From distant places, all had arrived at a point in life where they were finalizing the course of at least the next few years. What impressed me about all of them (and their accompanying partners) was that all, (bride and groom included), were setting themselves to accomplish things that will make a better world for others. All of them have chosen to continue their education now, and at the same time, undertake jobs that have already made a difference in the lives of others. It was a very reassuring weekend, talking with them, and with other friends of theirs and with other family members who all seemed to be genuinely concerned and focused on trying in some way to fix what is broken, discover what needs to be done, and then instead of complaining about the way the world is, getting right into the deep water of what might be called “draining the swamp.”

I guess that when parents and grandparents look at the up-and-coming generation we sometimes feel despair or even helplessness. Spend a weekend with young people like these. It is reassuring, generating smiles rather than frowns.

We have seen the future, and the good news is: there will be one.

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