Usually when I consider my kids’ futures, it’s in terms of what I want them to accomplish, and what I want them to become.
Today I learned about a different way of thinking about it, which centers on making them part of the solution – problem solvers – rather than sitting something out entirely.
As a part of my partnership with Kronos, I occasionally write about their 1 in 100 Million video series from Kronos. The series showcases “the personal stories of the people who do the many important and too-often unrecognized jobs we all rely on.” I’ve covered truck drivers, pinball machine designers, zookeepers, all with an eye towards considering which of those occupations might suit my sons.
It’s kind of fun, getting insight into a careers I knew very little about, or never even knew existed, and it’s a good reminder not only of how many options there are for my kids, but also, how unsung so many vital vocations are today. If it’s not glamorous, it rarely gets discussed. But lack of glamour doesn’t mean lack of importance, and today’s profile is a perfect example.
I will never let my sons play football, for reasons I’ve outlined before. But if Kyle Lamson, Director of New Product Innovation at Xenith, has his way, those reasons might one day be obsolete.
This dude is doing exactly what I suggested above: being part of the solution. Because after suffering multiple concussions on the field – lacrosse, specifically, but I won’t hold that against him – Kyle’s interest in preventing these accidents led him to Xenith in 2012. Since then, he has helped to further develop Xenith’s #1 rated patented helmet technologies through design, safety testing, prototyping & engineering.
For my kids, the fact is they don’t have football genes. So my prohibition won’t yield much in terms of practical results; they weren’t gonna play anyway. But maybe, thanks to jobs like Kyle Lamson’s, I can be a little less skittish about watching the NFL with them. Xenith started looking at helmets in a whole new way, and is 1 of 2 suppliers for the NFL, and they have on field presence for many D1 college programs. Maybe in a few years I’ll have Lamson to thank for allowing me to share such a dangerous sport with my kids without feeling like a hypocrite.
I’m sure he knows how I feel. He has a daughter of his own who participates in some of the same sports he did, and he’s determined to be a part of creating the safest playing field for she and her friends through his work at Xenith. Good for him. I don’t want football to go away, and while my sons may never play it regardless of its safety, twenty years from now, I want to have the opportunity to watch the Dolphins lose with them so I can stop suffering alone. Hopefully problem solvers like Kyle Lamson will find a way to allow that to happen.
Either way, I like the idea of teaching my kids to be part of the solution, rather than bystanders, and the latest Kronos 1 in 100 Million video is a great example of that. Maybe next month I can write about someone who has dedicated their career to making kids who play clarinet in the marching band seem cool. NO REASON.