By Pauline Reneaux
While I realize July is typically when we celebrate Independence Day, the topics of independence and investment have been weighing on me lately for several reasons. In the past month I have attended both a high school and college graduation. The high school kids are just stepping out into the world of young adulthood. The college graduates may have a degree under their belt, but they are about to find out what independence is in a whole new manner. Don’t worry, this is not a piece designed to point out how kids aren’t like we use to be back in the day, because we all know they are not. It is true that kids today aren’t like we were at that age, but it is also true that the burden that technology has placed on them has also brought about more pressures than we were faced with at that age. If you could teach them a few life lessons you have learned along the way, what would they be? How might you invest in helping them with their new found independence?
I have been looking at independence from both ends of the spectrum. Yes, these young adults are running toward it like a 3 year old toward a slip-n-slide, but I have also watched many of my older friends also try to hold on to their independence. Sometimes our independence can be interrupted by illness or circumstances beyond our control. Sometimes life takes our independence as we age. So how can we help both groups, the young and the seasoned individual find and hold on to their independence. How can we invest in those around us?
For the young setting out to conquer the world, have you considered mentoring or offering internships to help pass along a hobby, skill, or trade? For friends going through trials, have you considered taking them for coffee or just spending some time with them so they have a shoulder to lean on? For the grandparent, parent, or neighbor that have a bit of life experiences under their belt, have you thought about asking how you might help them? Simple acts of kindness, investing a little bit of time, and patience to help people of all ages find and maintain their independence can mean the world to them.
So I would like to challenge you to think about how you can invest in others so that you might foster the independence that they need. July is just around the corner, what are some ways that you can do this for your family, neighborhood, and community? I would love to hear from you, and next month I will report back with my own progress and ideas. After all, in order for there to be change we each have to step up and be the change that we see is needed. Until next month…
To learn more about Pauline Reneaux, visit her blog at Pauline-Reneaux.com. She welcomes email at firstname.lastname@example.org