I was a checking out from a local grocery store, a worker, who could not have been older than 16, asked me if I wanted a bag, a plastic one, for my deli meats and Wasa crackers. I told him “no,” and he smiled. I asked, “why the smile,” and he said, “these things are no good for our environment and no good for my future or my kids, if I have them.” Wow! What a generation! A generation who are, and will be, real estate consumers. Don’t have faith in our future? Think about this grocery boy and the attitudes he shared with a perfect stranger looking for supper.

First, he was confident and unafraid to show an emotion – his smile. Second he offered a direct, thought-driven opinion based on intelligent facts – plastic bags have no place in a knowledge-based society. Third, he was not only thinking about himself and his well being but also that of future generations – ethics and morality.

I always suspected that kids are wiser than adults in the things in life that matter most. Unfortunately, history proves that when they get older, they seem to lose these aforementioned character traits.

While adults in the news media, at water coolers and in workplaces around the country wonder whether the economic shoe will drop and squash us, a new ‘Power to Be’ survey sponsored by Duracell showed that children 8-12 years of age said that no matter what career they plan to pursue, they are confident they will achieve their goals. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of the 507 children nationwide said it is likely they will become what they want to be. That’s great news.

Consider also that the aim of the Duracell survey was to identify toys that can help children develop the skills they need to be professionals. Craig Bida, brand manager for Duracell, said that he hoped to give parents a better view of children’s goals and introduce them to wonderful new toys that can inspire imagination and learning. Mr. Bida, my question to you is, “Is it possible to conduct another survey, this time with adult respondents, so we can develop toys that would restart the imagination, and more importantly, the fact-based learning skills possessed as children?”

[For complete results of the Duracell Power to Be survey, visit www.timetoplaymag.com/powertobe/].

Doomsday (which by the way is the name of one of the best hard rock songs ever produced by a band called Atreyu) is not likely around the corner, despite your best adult thinking. There is good news. For example, did you know that despite it being one of the most challenging hiring environments in the nation’s history, 41 percent of workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last three months reported they found a new full-time, permanent position while another eight percent found part-time work. The CareerBuilder survey of 807 workers who were laid off from full-time jobs within the last 12 months is welcoming news to the 3.3 million workers who have lost their jobs in recent months. Workers reported that they are repackaging their resumes for new areas of employment, and being successful. Others are becoming their own bosses. Others are generating wealth in real estate.

Let’s never forget how unbelievably wonderful, exciting and opportunistic life was when we were kids, and how it can continue to be that way if we hold true to the beliefs we learned then.

Invest well.

Peace.

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