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Preparing to take the reins - Shannon Jenkins

My generation of late twenty-somethings will be running the show in a few years, and I hope we're all ready when that time comes.

We'll be the ones making all the important decisions.

We'll be the principals of local schools and the mayors of country towns and sleepless cities.

We'll say which laws are passed and when our country goes to war.

We'll be the editors of your newspapers and the pastors of your churches. And lately I've been wondering if we'll have what it takes to do all that.

We don't exactly have the best role models to look for guidance, but we're at an age where we can't blame the generations before us. This is the time we're learning the ropes and getting prepared to take the reins.

It's now that we're setting the groundwork for the leaders we will become.

But will we be ready in time?

I'm worried some of us are getting corrupted early, which will only add to the downfall of our country. Depending on who you ask, our nation is already slipping from its throne as the greatest in the world. It worries me that my generation will finish off the job.

To top off all my worries, I met a young man this weekend who shared my concerns.

Born in 1980, he told me, "We're all lost." He talked about how our generation is lost in sex and violence and other distractions. But this man wasn't just talking about what's wrong with us, he assured me he was striving to do something about it.

He's a performer, and he's trying to change the way his peers and younger generations think. He's doing his part to make us future leaders stronger and wiser through music and clever lyrics. After speaking to this visionary, I felt a little better about being a leader myself one day.

For me, my path is clear. I'll be working in journalism until the day I die. It's possible I'll be an editor one day, and it will be my job to ensure what you read is the truth. I'll be guiding younger generations of journalists through media ethics and teaching them how to be fair and unbiased.

So, I assure you now that I intend to prepare myself for this role. I'll be perfecting my crafts in anticipation of one day taking the reins. I only hope my peers are doing the same.

Shannon Jenkins is the education reporter for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at sjenkins@henryherald.com or (770) 957-9161.