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The good news is that this disruption leads to destruction of old institutions, allowing new ones to blossom. The disruptive decade of the 1970s gave way to the incredible wealth and technological expansion and innovation of the 1980s and 1990s. Personal computers, cell phones, the Internet and email have transformed all our lives. The growth in all areas of your life that you have experienced in the past 20 years came as a result of this new age. The same thing will happen in the new age, the Shift Age. It could well be a new golden age of humanity.

There are going to be some very difficult and rough times ahead. We will have to pull together, be open and receptive to change. We have to understand that what was might be gone for good—but that what might be could make us forget what we have lost. If you have this perspective that we are in a time of historical significance almost unparalleled in human history, it will at least help you understand all that is going on a bit better. And understanding is always a good thing.

If you are a parent, then you also have a particular concern for how your children will make their way in this anxious and uncertain time. As a father of one son and the stepfather of another son, I think of this quite often. I want to assure you that it might well be one of the best times to be a child, a student, a young person moving into the world. Remember, we have entered the Transformation Decade, and isn't that part of what being young is about: transformation? We see things we have lost; they see the possibilities of what is to come.

In upcoming columns, I will discuss our children, why they are different and why those differences might be of reassurance to us parents instead of reasons to be alarmed or concerned. Remember, this is a reorganizational recession that is preparing us for something new, and who better to face the new than our children with all of their generational differences?

In tough times of disruption and even danger there is always opportunity. Do you see opportunities as you look ahead? What are they?

David Houle is an award-winning futurist and strategist who has launched successful brands and is an in-demand speaker about the future. He writes the popular futurist blog Evolution Shift and lives his life slightly ahead of the curve.

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