Hey Chris,
Trent Lapinski
73

Trent

I meant to thank you for taking time to reply. As I father of a 17 year old and 19 year old child I am so conflicted about their future. There is plenty of uncertainty and hyperbole to go around. My 51 years has taught me the truth is almost somewhere in the middle and only in the rarest of moments in human history are we really on the “brink” of a cataclysmic event. (Think meteor from outer space)

What I truly worry about for the younger generation is have we as a society taught millennials enough to have a sense of proportion and perspective in the things that matter in life?

  1. Words (even the ugliest ones) are words and not a rationale for censorship. There is more to be learned from descent than agreement. Labeling someone (insert your label here) silences all productive discussion and compromise. I cringe at this irony when we discuss “Millennials” in our letters.
  2. Our climate and universe is always changing and we should behave responsibly and rationally with our efforts to conserve and protect resources and our population. The world is not going to end tomorrow but there are things we can do today. Control the controllables. We are but an infinitesimally small player in the vast configuration of the universe- the world. https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/whats-the-largest-galaxy-in-the-universe-f6be8477edf8
  3. Happiness (Self Determination) — Life is and happiness is one of the choices we make. Good and bad things are going to happen and happiness is not a guarantee. Setback are OK and to be expected and defeat often teaches more than victory. That which does not kill me makes me stronger. Life does not owe any of us anything- like I shared earlier stumbling blocks and stepping stones.
  4. Human relationships- Technology is a double edged sword but like the knife that can kill to provide sustenance or murder, its how we choose to use it. There is no substitute for direct, human interaction. The vast majority of people intentions are noble and honorable. The rich don’t hate the poor, protecting borders is not bigotry and a hand up is generally better than a hand out. We have to take care of each other.
  5. Keeping it real — I heard about a new crisis of the younger set called the Quarter Life crisis. Never hear of such a thing but the basic issue is a disillusionment that sets in around the early twenty when lifes hard cold realities start settling in. We realize that the worlds not perfect and things are often unfair and they question their purpose. What’s it all for? I worry that my children will obsess over that which is fundamentally unknowable in ones lifetime. Why are we here? I think we often take ourselves too seriously in this folly we call life. I think too many simply overthink matters.

I don’t have all the answers and beware of anyone who is absolutely certain that they do. I’ve seriously thought about penning a Dad’s wisdom book for my kids so they can always look back and see what my best counsel is on a number of subjects. On the bucket list. I’ve enjoyed this exchange and really wish you the best! Chris

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