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Youngsters are taking over

June 28, 2014
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

As I cleared the table after supper, I listened to the evening news on television.

The woman being interviewed had impressive credentials in the business world. And the plan she outlined for solving the country's financial problems sounded well thought-out.

I turned toward the set to get a look at this financial expert ... and stopped in my tracks.

There on the screen was a youngster who looked very much like the Girl Scout who sold me cookies last week.

A few days later, I went to the customer service desk at the large outlet store I often deal with. I had a problem with a recent purchase and asked to see the manager to straighten it out.

"Here he is," said the lady manning the desk.

I turned to see a young guy who looked like he might have just come from his paper route. He shook my hand firmly and assured me he'd take care of my problem.

With that, he went to the computer system on the service counter and, after a few efficient keystrokes said, "That should fix it, Mrs. Schenk. Sorry for the inconvenience."

As I left the store, I found myself wondering once again, what's happened to all the mature types who used to run the world?

Where are the Walter Cronkites? What about father figures like Ben Cartright? And where did Captain Kangaroo go?

There was a time, and it doesn't seem very long ago, when the President of the United States really looked like an elder statesman.

Where are the furrowed brows and the in-control attitude of a Franklin D. Roosevelt or a Harry Truman?

Even former President George H.W. Bush had the look of a mature leader. And Barbara was the picture of the country's grandmother, a great image for a first lady.

Regardless of their politics, these folks had one major asset that today's young president and first lady don't have. They had the good grace to be older than I am.

All my life I've had the conviction that doctors, dentists, judges ... all the "in control" figures in my world, should have come aboard the planet at least a few years before I did.

Last winter, when I was having some persistent aching in my hands, I went to see a doctor with an impressive reputation. When the physician, dressed in scrubs, entered the room, I was sure he must be auditioning for a part in a Doogie Howser play.

I'll readily admit the young man treated me with efficiency and compassion, but I couldn't help feeling I had been cared for by a child prodigy.

Of course, in the realm of computers, I learned long ago that age and expertise don't necessarily go together. In fact, most of the computer geniuses I've come across are either using their first set of heels or their first electric razors. It's a field where youth reigns. The proof can be seen in that well-known computer guru, Bill Gates. He's just now starting to show a bit of grey on his youthful head.

It seems to me that the people running the world are getting younger year by year.

I've decided it's time to adopt a new hero to look up to in this youth-centered society. Since former President George H. W. Bush made that parachute jump in honor of his 90th birthday, he's become my role model.



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