The Winter Olympics
The past two weeks have demonstrated to all of us encouraging signs of the strength of our young people in this country although the indications have come from widely divergent places. The Winter Olympics gave us wonderful images of our young athletes. Their grit, determination and class were on television daily highlighted by last night’s closing ceremony with Jessie Diggins proudly and joyfully carrying our flag. I try to restrict my blogs to management topics and in that vein I think the vote by our athletes to have Ms. Diggins carry our flag was brilliant. She accepted the honor as just that, an honor. Her pride in her country and her entire USA team was clearly visible. Her joy was captivating and I have to admit I filled up watching her. The perfect person was selected, great management by the USA team!
The sportsmanship exhibited by our athletes and many of the world’s athletes was terrific to witness, sports at its absolute best. The men’s curling team spoke of the inspiration and support from the gold medal winning women’s hockey team and how it contributed to their win. And when our fabulous women’s hockey goalie made the save in the shootout to win the gold medal in the game against Canada I had goosebumps and my second thought after cheering their win was what a shame for my east coast friends to miss such a spectacular moment [it was 11:30 PM PST]. In such a short period of time these women had become a team, a real team and it was evident in the celebration. Kudos to these ladies and the coaches.
The participants in so many of the events exhibited a graciousness that exemplified the Olympic spirit. All in all with so many brilliant performances and moments, Lyndsay Vonn giving her all after so many injuries was one such moment, the future for our country is promising. I hope our Olympians continue their leadership and remain forever young as beacons to the next generation.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
The same promise was exemplified by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida in the aftermath of the horrific shooting at their school with 17 young lives tragically lost. They do not want another such tragedy to occur in this country and they are speaking out and taking action. Already we have seen more potential for change in this country regarding gun control than at any other time in my life. Republicans and Democrats are both indicating a willingness to push for change. It is a difficult and complex topic and will require a lot of effort on everyone’s part to create meaningful change. It is why I hope these young Floridians remain forever young and continue to lead the charge. Their leadership is needed.
In contrast it has been sad to see the performance of some of our politicians who long ago lost their ability to remain forever young. The recent CNN town hall meeting revealed two dinosaurs, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, the two senators from Florida. In response to questions both just seemed to give the audience practiced sound bites from their election campaigns. However both they and the governor have indicated a willingness to seek changes and the governor has openly indicated his support for certain measures. It is doubtful these three men would be seeking change without the efforts of the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
It’s my wish that the grit, competitiveness, compassion, teamwork, heart and dedication exemplified by so many of our young people these past two weeks will be a beacon for all of us the rest of this year and in the years to come. I hope all of them remain forever young.