A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lauren and Rob Hudson: Positive message and encouragement for our Next Greatest Generation

Columns for families based on the book It Can Be Done @studentsleadusa

As we wrap up this series of positive messages for America’s youth, we close with words of encouragement for future leaders. You have a great system in which to lead. In America, we set up a system of government which preserved many freedoms spelled out in our Constitution.

Some people during colonial times called America a “grand experiment.” Great thinkers wrote and spoke about conducting an experiment like this someday. Parts of it had been tried elsewhere, but at the time nobody had written a Constitution and formed a new country quite like ours. One big question was whether people could manage their freedom by being responsible and independent.

The experiment worked for us; America reached incredible heights. While we built the world’s largest economy, we righted wrongs. The pillars of exceptionalism explained in this series of columns, such as work ethic, integrity, charity, and respecting religion, helped us form common ground which often led to success.

History has shown that as time passes all great nations can lose track of why they became great. With affluence, values such as independence, hard work and high morals can decline. Large nations covering large territories have eventually fallen or deteriorated. What will happen to America now that we have existed well over 200 years?

You might say we’ve been put in the game with our team ahead. The question still being asked is will we stay ahead. Will we build on the lead, assure victory, and repeat as champions, or will we drift and squander our opportunities? We know what helps people become exceptional and we can get there, living rich, full, prosperous lives. We know what makes America exceptional. We can help lead at this key point in our nation’s history.

People have designated Americans who won World War II as our “greatest generation.” During some of our difficult times during World War II, Americans encouraged one another with the slogan “It Can Be Done.” America then went out and did it, helping its allies win the war to save the world from tyranny. Someday our children and grandchildren will look back on today’s younger generation. Maybe it’s time for a new greatest generation.

We can begin by dreaming big about leading our country into a new era of American exceptionalism. President John F. Kennedy inspired a generation of Americans in the 1960s. He said, “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need Americans who can dream of things that never were.”

President Kennedy also offered perhaps America’s most famous of all patriotic slogans, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” These words, delivered at President Kennedy’s inaugural address more than 50 years ago, still ring true today.

To live up to President Kennedy’s words, we should use the pillars to develop our talents, find common ground, and help lead our country, communities, and families. Imagine an optimistic life of accomplishment with hope, courage, a loving family, friends, opportunities, charity, and much, much more.

Always remember, it can be done.

Frost Brown Todd Member LLC Rob Hudson is a Past Chair of the Northern Kentucky Chamber and a recipient of its Frontiersman Award. 2018 Independent Author of the Year Lauren Hudson is a Singletary Scholar at the University of Kentucky.

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