If I Had A…

Hello again dear readers. Quite a few things have happened since the last installment, and we’ll see about addressing them all.

Ever hear the piece “O Fortuna?” You probably have even if you don’t recognize the title. Here is a link for a good version with English translation subtitles:

What’s my point? This piece of music is a widely regarded classic as it is performed often, but it also relates the nature of fortune (O Fortuna), and how events of the last few months have included some highs and lows. Life is, after all,  not a cakewalk every single moment. We persevere with determination and find a way through.

Our world said goodbye to some titans for humanity in these passing months. Nelson Mandela and Pete Seeger were both members of a Hero Generation with a civic mindfulness according to Howe and Strauss in their book The Fourth Turning. As Millennials, we too are part of a Hero Generation as our grandparents may have faced crisis in World War II, we must prepare to face the new challenges of fiscal responsibility, unprecedented human connection and communication, and the issues that prevent any person from achieving their best potential.

In considering this post, I’ve also been working on assignments related to a course on leadership. The successes of Mandela and Seeger were due in part to their talents as leaders, but also in their ability to empower their followers. The Millennial generation has some skepticism when dealing with leadership that commands authority, but will likely follow those who “walk their talk.” Leaders like Mandela and Seeger didn’t sit around and say, “If I had __________, I could really do something great.” They looked at their circumstances and tried to use the abilities they already possessed to bring about positive results.

Growth happens over time and new skills are added, but don’t discount what you currently possess in your journey to the future. Sometimes, just knowing that you need to move forward is the most important part.

Here is a link to a live recording of Pete Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer.” He even comments about the different versions of the song that have appeared over the years and how they all blend together. A lesson for Millennials to share with the world.

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