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The world is better place? You bet with grandchildren

The world is suddenly a better place. Skeptics, you ask how can that be. Last time we checked Osama and Saddam remained at large. Iraq was still a mess. Afghanistan showed little promise of emerging into the 20th century, let alone the 21st. Al Quaida remained a threat.

Too many people are out of work. Too much red ink colors the national budget. Gasoline prices are still too high. Cotton prices are still too low.

So, how can the world be a better place?

Because, I have a new grandson. Hunter Andrew Jones was born Tuesday, Sept. 2, a healthy 7.5 pounds and 20 inches, a keeper by any measure.

Still you skeptics wonder what kind of awful challenges he'll face and what a burden we're leaving for him to tote.

I agree with you on that one. He'll have some long, hard rows to hoe, some pretty weedy ones, too, I imagine, and it would behoove those of us who still have the energy, the skill and the chutzpa to change things to get on about doing just that.

But, as I sat in the hospital room holding Hunter for the first time I couldn't help but project a bit and wonder a lot. Maybe all these problems are just waiting for a new generation to come on board. Maybe it will be our grandchildren who will finally decide to leave this planet in much better condition than they found it. Maybe they'll have the answers we couldn't find or failed to look for.

It's a grandparent's prerogative, I suppose, to envision all manner of careers for their grandchildren. I took a look at his long fingers and figured he could be a pretty good quarterback, or a baseball pitcher, maybe a concert pianist. Perhaps a journalist. Nah, I hope he aspires higher than that.

I also wondered as I absorbed that wonderful aroma that comes only from the top of a newborn baby's head, what might be developing inside his little noggin.

Maybe he'll discover a cure for cancer. Perhaps he'll have a gift for resolving disputes and can help with a peace initiative. Maybe he'll develop an efficient source of renewable energy or a more economical means of transporting goods and folks from one place to another.

Or even better, maybe he'll discover the secret to creating a commercial tomato that doesn't taste like cardboard.

I also thought about my own grandparents, all born just before or just after the beginning of the 20th century. What changes they saw from 1900 until the 1980s, when the last one passed away. They witnessed a transition from horse and buggy travel to men in space, mail that took days or weeks to reach a recipient to electronic letters that travel in micro-seconds from one post to another.

And what changes my grandchildren will see in the next seven or eight decades. I suspect that even the most wildly imaginative science fiction writer can't conjure up a vision of what wonders await.

Call me Pollyanna (I've been called worse.) but I refuse to see a dismal future for my two grandsons. There is too much promise, too much hope, too much wonder to believe that the world will not be a better place because these two little boys are in it.

Oh, yeah pictures are available on request.

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