As another year comes to an end and individuals globally will profess to make changes in their lives in the new year, I am reminded of the words spoken by former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Mr. Kew, a well respected political leader and the individual who has been credited with Singapore’s rise as an economic world power, said “Have I made the world around me a better place with my decisions? Is my family proud of me?” He intimated if these predicates occurred, then he is “blessed.” On 2011 New Year’s Eve, individuals will declare many promises during celebratory moments regarding their individual and collective change of behavior. Some individuals will assert to lose weight (have you notice the increase of recognizable celebrities who are promoting weight loss programs on televison?), others will pledge to exercise more consistently, some will affirm to spend more time with their families and some will profess to help others in need. The question is what good is it if we are not making our environment a better place, because of our presence in it? This has been my mantra in 2011 and my pledge is to continue this journey in 2012.
Contemplating our future in 2012, the United States of America’s Baby Boomer generation is set to become a major economic force in America. We are living in an America which has seen dramatic social changes yet boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than 50% of discretionary spending power. We are responsible for more than half of all consumer spending, buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of OTC (Over The Counter) medication and 80% of all leisure travel and yet we feel anxious. Many Baby Boomers are living in a world they did not expect. High unemployment sometimes equate to our children not leaving home to start their lives independent of boomers’ financial assistance; a collapse of the housing industry has seen the erosion of our personal wealth; the high cost of health care remains a problem; the American education system is in need of fixing and the high cost of the wars we are engaged in are contributing to the increase of our huge national deficit.
As America is tested on all fronts, I am betting that this great country will blossom from this difficult period in our history. Americans are resilient, hardworking, adaptable, generous and ambitous. I plan on doing my part to aid in America’s revival. What about you?