New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | February 22, 2020

Editorial: Providing opportunities for younger generations when we move on

By Andre Jones | February 12, 2020 1:49 pm

The debate about what “our purpose in life” has been debated for decades. Today, I challenge each of you to set somebody else up for success.

When a person occupies a job, it is to better his or her life over a certain time frame. As a transition or retirement approaches, it provides additional opportunities for someone to learn the ins and outs to become just as successful at that job.

As much as the older generation likes to hold onto a job, there will be a time when the younger generation has to step up and take over. We must encourage these young folks to be successful, give them an opportunity to blossom, and see if the results pan out.

I will use my story for example. When I first started coaching, a chance was taken on me at my young age of 21 years old to lead programs at Charles City High School. After my first year, I didn’t know if it was something I could live up to. But after my first year, I understood the nuances of the coaching world and became more successful. Along with being blessed with a good group of student-athletes, the culture of the program turned around.

Fast forward to August 2019. One of my former players interviewed for a head coaching position at the school that I now serve as the athletic director. I was candid with her and spoke about the expectations and hours that would be needed and sacrificed, along with the many challenges. The way she talked and her confidence showed me that she was up for the task. She suffered her ups and downs, but she worked through them. After the season, I told her that she did a great job because I knew where she had been and how programs can be.

Do we love our jobs? Some of us do. Do we need money? Let’s be real, we do. But the legacy and opportunities come to those who are humble enough to accept them. Giving younger adults the opportunity to shine when it’s time for us to transition is one of the many definitions of love and unselfishness.

Let’s continue to provide opportunities to all, but also remember not to be ashamed of making the path available for others to succeed and take up our mantle when it’s time to move on.