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Waking up Friday morning I was greeted with a landscape covered in about 6 inches of fresh flaky snow. As I was enjoying a cup of coffee and surveying the beauty of this white carpet covering most everything, my mind raced back to my youth.

Enjoying a family breakfast after a winter storm, my father would remind me of my main chore of the day. Shovel the driveway, steps and sidewalk, and then I was free to pursue this golden opportunity nature had given me.

Two of my buddies and I would go up and down our street, shoveling sidewalks and driveways, making money. From house to house, our profits increased and spurred us on. Every once in a while as we worked, an older neighbor would appear on their front stoop and say they couldn’t afford to pay us but they could offer us a cup of hot cocoa and an oatmeal cookie. Within minutes, their driveway, sidewalk and stoop would be cleared and the three of us would be taking a small break enjoying cocoa and cookies.

By the end of the day our stomachs would be satisfied and our pockets brimming with bills and coins.

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Now back to the present. There has been no knock on my front door from an enterprising young person wanting to earn some cash, nor have I even seen any young kids out shoveling the snow. Is the entrepreneurial spirit dead or is it just that today’s youth find it better to stay in the warmth of their home with a game controller or phone in their hand?

What a sad commentary on the digital youth of today.

Jeffrey Pratt


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