The generation of leaders that led me, taught me, showed me, demonstrated for me, and otherwise raised me are going off of the scene. The generation that fought Fascism and later Communism is retiring, dying, or both. Many are doing it honorably, others are not. This speaks the need for my generation to realize, the world is going to be changing, again.
Change is a constant and no matter what happens in life, change will always occur. We all change. As people change, so does the world.
Old leaders leave the scene, new ones replace them. We live, we age, and hopefully, we learn from those that paved the way before us. Events (old and new) shape our lives. Hopefully, we have learned enough to meet the challenges of our day. I say this because, those of us that survive, must carry on the work. We must now assume leadership.
The past year has seen a lot of influential people pass away or retire. The most recent and most heartfelt was the death of John Paul II. It was a very profound loss and affected many people around the world. He was the fifth pope in my lifetime, but to some, he was the only.
Prince Ranier just passed. He was the only monarch I ever knew from Monaco. He built modern day Monaco.
Ronald Reagan. I remember him as governor, as a young child. In my twenties, I remember him as President. In my early thirties, I witnessed the fruit of his and John Paul's labor, when the Berlin Wall (and the rest of the Iron Curtain) fell.
Johnny Carson. The king of late night was usually on when my parents stayed up late. I watched him as a teenager and as a young adult, after working second shift. I don't remember Paar, so Johnny was it for me.
Tom Brokaw retired. Dan Rather did too, but it was under a cloud of shame and scandal. And sadly, Peter Jennings is now fighting for his life. The face of the media has changed much throughout my years, but never so suddenly and drastically at one time.
I could go on, but you get the drift. A lot has happened. Yet, the point I wish to make is simple.
For some of us, it is the time to step up. And for others, it is time to sit up and take notice, of what we do. Because, you that must take notice will someday be charged with taking the torch from us. We won't always be right, but we will try. Watch what we do right and learn from it. Watch what we do wrong and learn from it. Take our best ideas forward, scrap the ones that aren't worth anything, and above all, learn to come up with your own ideas. Learn to think for yourself. Then, get ready for the ride of your lives.