hope z

young black male with bright clothes and a quizzical look

For as long as I can remember, my usual workout time has been between midnight and 3:00 AM. A couple of weeks back, two young guys—Josh and DaeDae—started working the overnight shift at my gym.

I’ve been chatting with them here and there—when I arrive, when I leave or whenever they happen to be cleaning nearby. Nice guys. But until recently, it’s been mostly small talk.

Friday morning, on my way out, I decided to go a little deeper with them. I wanted to ask about something that’s been on my mind quite a lot lately, especially where Gen Z is concerned.

You see, I’ve noticed a distinct change in people’s mind sets over the last five or six years. I suspect it’s been brought about by a perfect storm of political upheaval, a pandemic, a stark rise in hate crimes and a 24-hour news cycle (or pseudo-news cycle, in many cases) where strong personalities seem bent on peddling controversy and worst-case scenarios in exchange for ratings or personal social-media followings.

Meanwhile, we’re being continually bombarded with click bait—video and article titles that are intentionally vague, misleading, skewed or outright false. If they’re to be believed, everything we know and love is a hair’s breath away from being torn away from us. Our freedom. Our democracy. Our safety. Our health.

Our very existence as a species on planet earth.

And the result has been an outbreak of fear, anxiety, depression and doom every bit as widespread, infectious and devastating as COVID-19.

So I stopped and asked Josh and DaeDae this question: “How do you feel when you think about your future?”

And in stereophonic unison, they immediately replied…

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About Erik

I'm an author, speaker, blogger, facilitator, people lover, creative force, conversationalist, problem solver, chance-taker, listener, noticer and lover of life. "It's more about writing lives than writing pages." View all posts by Erik

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