Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jobs and Jobs

Cool, crisp mornings last week, then a slow warming to the point where I was able to deliver my route in shorts and sandals this week, culminating in 2 days of clear skies filled with the light of a full moon.  And deer everywhere.

I have been reading some commentary on the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon that has spread to many of the country's major cities.  Of course, the comments are skewed based on one's political and social bias.  One of the more interesting comments, directed to the protesters, was nothing if not succinct; get a job.

With unemployment in the 20-25% range for young people, perhaps that is part of the reason for these demonstrations.  Many recent college graduates are finding themselves in the unenviable position of facing $40, $60, $80K dollars in school debt, in competition with dozens, if not hundreds of other similarly positioned people, clamoring for every job, and feeling betrayed by the system which promised them opportunities that have not appeared.  Of course, there are many jobs to be had in the service sector, but $10 an hour does not cut it for those who believed that a college degree would set them on a better road than their non-educated counterparts who settled for the local burger joint or big box department store job.

And then there is Steve Jobs, the genius of our time who helped transform, in literally one generation, our method of communication and entertainment.  When I was in my mid-20's, computers were confined to large, sterile rooms on college campuses or large corporations.  Then, when you could first purchase a personal computer, you needed to go through a series of steps to get it to work, and, invariably, you found it necessary to call the support line to may it start.  Some people were just starting to carry beepers, which still required you to find a phone to call the source of the beep.  Music was confined to tape decks, vinyl records and a new, smaller thing called a cassette tape.

Now, my daughter has a phone upon which she can access her grades via the Internet.  Thousands of songs are contained on a devise that fits in a back pocket.  And, although Jobs was not the brains behind facebook or twitter, we are able to communicate with people experiencing earthquakes in Japan or the Arab spring in Egypt, as the events take place.   The world eems much smaller yet the hopes and dreams ofr our young are even bigger than ever.

Perhaps then, it is only through the energy and protests and dissatisfaction of the status quo that is represented by those involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement that people like Steve Jobs find a market for their brilliant ideas and innovations.  And, perhaps it is only because of the truly unique individuals like Steve Jobs that new generations are able to make their mark on society.  It is a necessay and symbiotic relationship that would not exist without both sides of the equation.

So I say, march on young men and women.  Let those in power know that you expect more of them than they seem willing to give.  Remind those who possess the trappings of material success that it is not the bling that produces happiness.  But more importantly, when your time has come and you are beginning to attain your dreams, don't forget the reasons for today's unrest or tomorrow's generation of protesters might be at your door.      

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