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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Shrug

Ole and Lena were sitting down to their usual cup of morning coffee listening to the weather report coming over the radio. “There will be three to five inches of snow today and a snow emergency has been declared. You must park your cars on the odd-numbered side of the street.”

Ole got up from his coffee and replies, “Jeez, OK.”

Two days later, again they both are sitting down with their cups of morning coffee and the weather forecast is, “There will be two to four inches of snow today and a snow emergency has been declared. You must park your cars on the even-numbered side of the street.”

Ole got up from his coffee and replies, “Jeez, OK.”

Three days later, again they both are sitting down with their cups of coffee and the weather forecast is, “There will be six to eight inches of snow today and a snow emergency has been declared. You must park your cars on the …” and then the power went out and Ole didn’t get the rest of the instructions. He says to Lena,

“Jeez, what am I going to do now, Lena?”

Lena shrugs her shoulders and replies, “Aw, Ole, just leave the car in the garage.”

While Lena’s shrug and response in our story is amusing, there is a very disturbing trend across our culture today… afflicting the youth.  It’s called “The Shrug”.

“The Shrug” is when an NFL receiver (making several million dollars a year) drops a perfectly thrown ball in a crucial 4th down situation… resulting in turning the ball over to the opponent with potentially season-ending consequences. Yet all the receiver can do is “shrug.” No grief. No anger. No accountability at his lack of focus and dedication.

Just a shrug.

And it’s not just football. That same lack of passion and drive for excellence sadly seems to have taken a back seat to a kinder-gentler approach to self-assessment everywhere.  How many times have you heard “At least you gave it a good try.”

WHAT A JOKE.

How did we get here? (Opinion alert!) Many parents have over-corrected their less-than-ideal childhoods by flipping the age old creed of “children should be seen, not heard” into “my child is first above all including myself along with everyone else.” Well intended but misguided parents dismiss their own wants and needs, which creates for their kids a false cushy existence. This in-turn, results in unappreciative adults who don’t respect authority, or don’t tolerate anyone who refuses to immediately hand them “the good life” on a silver platter.

Even though I agree parents should do more than feed, clothe, shelter and safeguard the basic health of their kids, coddling them in my opinion is in reality hurting them.  Trying to protect kids from all of life’s inevitable failures and frustrations and preventing them from accomplishing things themselves places an undue burden on society and forces the rest of us to work around the dead weight.

You might be saying, nice rant Heath, but what does this have to do with our local economy? If Tama County is going to grow our economy we are going to need all hands on deck – that means our youth too.

What can the youth do here in Tama County? Glad you asked …. Kids will have the opportunity to sign up and give a 3-minute business idea pitch followed by 2 minutes of Q & A. March 30, 2014 (1:00-4:00pm) Traer, IA North Tama High School as a part of the iExlporeSTEM festival. For more information, please contact Dawn Bowlus at dawn-bowlus@uiowa.edu or 319-335-0985.

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