It's September 1 and I am happy to announce the launch of IM!
IM is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping youth around the world prosper in life. We do this by focusing on five different areas: Physical Health, Emotional Health, Mental or Intellectual Health, Spiritual Health and Financial Health.
I feel like I am at a very unique place in life. At 46 years of age, I can safely say that I am most likely about halfway through this journey we call life. Now, whether I live a little longer or a little less, I will be grateful none the less. But being my age isn't the only thing that makes me or my situation unique. It's really all that I have experienced. You see, I have lived through some of the greatest years in history as well as be influenced by those who we call the Greatest Generation. My generation (Gen Xers) have had the amazing opportunity to be influenced by our Grandparents who experienced the Great Depression as well as World War II.
They taught us what it meant to work hard and be frugal, to really strive for something better than what they started off with in life. Then through our parents generation (Babyboomers) that saw the Vietnam war and a huge change in society through the end of the 60's and early 70's that taught us about open mindedness and acceptance. This of course lead to the rise of my generation. A group of persons that has had life in front of them. A group that has dreamed and achieved like no other. A group that has brought technology forward to start life moving at break neck speeds of progression. It is our generation that has been so amazingly blessed to experience so many wonders and opportunities. It is also my generation that is now bringing forth the next generation. It's this next generation that has driven me to create IM.
I was always taught to "leave it better than you found it." What does this mean? Well, if you're going camping you leave the trail and your camp site cleaner than before you got there. If you come into a person's life your find ways to be a betterment to them. And, if you are looking to help a rising generation you help them understand what life is really about and how to have real happiness. Now, I don't guarantee that everyone who follows or associates with IM to be happy their whole life but rather to understand that if they focus on these five areas they will have a greater opportunity of having peace and joy in life by establishing a balanced perspective and approach.
Because of having four kids from the ages of ten to sixteen, I interact with a lot of kids that come through my
home and my life as the friends of my children and others in the neighborhood. I see a generation of people that now literally have the world at their fingertips. While I had National Geographic and Encyclopedia Britannica, they have have access to almost every book ever published in history. While I had TV as a source of information, they have YouTube and can learn as quickly as they wish. I think the Genie in Disney's
Aladdin said it best, "Phenomenal cosmic power! Itty bitty living space." In the attempt to leave it better than we found it, my generation has literally given the world to our kids, but slowly confined them to an itty
bitty screen on a phone. I now see an entire generation living within a device rather than truly seeing and experiencing the world as it really is. Is the world different today from when I was a kid? Yes. Is the world less safe than it was when I was a kid? Perhaps, but maybe only in a different way. I grew up in the shadow of the Cold War. A time a decisiveness. After 9/11 the world, while at our fingertips, is still divided but in a different way. Are there still fears? Yes. Is it worth living our lives through a phone? NO!
I want to invite my generation to help the next understand what an amazing world we live in. To be physically healthy in a way that allows them to experience it first hand. To have an emotionally balanced perspective on life that allows them to find and see the good in others as well as have the social and interpersonal skills needed to have real friendships and associations. To offer them an opportunity to learn and grow through a scholarship program that will allow them to learn and apply knowledge on an educational path that leads to jobs and careers that my not even currently exist. And to understand how to manage their financial gains in a way that money is not a burden in their life but a tool which will afford them opportunities that may not exist through their own families now.
Why IM? Because I want every child to be able to say: IM Strong, IM Smart, IM Persistent, IM Funny, IM Resilient, IM Happy...
Today is the start of a very long and exciting journey in making life a better place for the next generation as well as for yourself. Help a child understand his or her "IM". Help them see the potential they have to be amazing people.