Follow Your Dreams

Luke Engelhaupt at Rockefeller Center

I have been thinking, is it right to be telling kids that success is getting the highest paying jobs? There is no doubt that money is a luxury which could be used for a better quality of life, but maybe we are focusing on the wrong things. We should be inspiring the younger generation to pursue their dreams – whether it be a CEO of a Forbes 100 company or being an artist that spends their time creating pieces in a small studio. 

Dreams are more then a job. Dreams give our bodies life and makes us human. We shouldn’t spend 40+ hours working just to get by. We should be focusing on our family, friends and doing things that make us better people. We should be telling our kids they should pursue becoming the best versions of themselves. When we give them our undying support to chase their dreams, they start to realize they can change the world.  

Sadness can be Scary

Denver Railyard

Depression is a growing threat to our country, especially in rural communities. Many experts who are better prepared to answer the question about why this is happening will give you several correct (nothing in science is every “correct”, just highly possible or likely. So I would omit this word.) answers. I believe, or at least for myself, it’s because we have unreal expectations we put on our selves (one word) and for the world to live up too. 

The Same set of Facts

Red Rocks Amphitheater

A fact is defined as a thing that is known or proven to be true. By definition, a fact doesn’t have multiple versions of itself. When the world is given two different stories that contradict each other than division will form. If you have noticed Fox news and MSNBC give completely different narratives of our country. Viewers of both channels have a hard time discussing issues with the other side. The only real way of overcoming this division is to agree on the same set of facts and cast out the untruth. If I posted 25 pier-reviewed studies on climate change, I bet some would still argue its findings. It is true, the first amendment protects the other set of facts, but having a meaning full conversation is limited with multiple sets of circumstances. Until we find and agree on a set of facts, we are doomed for meaningless conflict.  

The New Normal

Denver Protest

I’m writing this in December of 2018 because I know this problem will again be on our minds, and all I would need to do is add the location and the number of victims To make this piece relevant. Gun violence in schools has become a large part of our country’s DNA and its hard to see it changing in the near future. I wish it would change. I’m tired of reading about how 8 were injured and Kendrick Castillo who was killed in STEM School shooting in Highlands Ranch.

How have we not figured out how to stop these senseless deaths in schools? The first memorable school shooting took place 20 years ago at Columbine High School in 1999. Why is this still a thing and why do I have little faith that things will change for the better. It’s sad to say, but we are missing the willpower to make the changes we need to have safer schools.

There is a cost to solving or not solving this problem, and we are going to be paying it one way or another. Currently, we are paying with the lives of our youth; I don’t believe anyone thinks this is right, but our lack of willpower has made it so. Arming teachers is a fool’s errand because teachers want to help students achieve and not to defend their class in the same fashion as a police officer. Let’s face it if you want a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun the good guy will need countless hours of training, the same training as a police officer because any reasonable person will have a hard time taking a human life. We could attempt to pay for the care of our mentally ill at a great expense, and we don’t know if it will work. Another option is to remember that our freedoms are not free. Some liberties are starting to cost more than we should be paying. I’m tired of being known as the country that pays in human life for freedom that the majority of Americans want to see changed.

After 30 years of school shootings with no answer in sight, it’s on all of us now. Continuing to do nothing will cause future generation to question our values as Americans If they are not already. We need to put the fear in all of our elected officials that their time representing us is over — the same fear that each kid feels when they are at school and hear gunfire.

My Love-Hate Relationship with Oil

Mount Evans

 I used to have a love-hate relationship with the petroleum industry but SB-181 forced me to take my flag out of the middle and throughly examine both sides.
Growing up in a rural Colorado community, high paying jobs were limited. The house I grew up in was on the same road as an oil service company. It’s an oil owner went way above and beyond to take care of his employees, and that’s something that stuck with me. It’s hard to be in a conflict with a company who really takes care of their workers so companies like this are a bright spot in the industry.


Still, climate change is real and for those who still don’t think it’s true, please go to my website codyengelhaupt.com where I posted a few of my peers reviewed articles about climate change.


I was also irritated this year when a campaign of misinformation regarding a bill the Colorado General Assembly was considering was everywhere.


Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operation (SB-181) is a 29-page bill that is easy to read and was signed into law on April 16.       I encourage everyone to take the time and read the bill.


The big takeaways of SB-181 are it directs the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to adopt rules to minimize emissions, directs Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to now regulate, gives local control to local government, increases. the rights of property owners affected by forced pooling and finally makes sure that the state of Colorado is not on the hook for oil and gas wells that are abandoned.


There are a lot of parts I could break down and discuss one by one, but honestly I feel that there are only really two points of controversy regarding the new law, and one has nothing to do with the bill.


First is the local control piece. SB-181 will let counties and municipalities set their own rules like setbacks. Some parts of this state care a lot about setbacks and not so much for others. In my opinion, the oil companies did a much better job in the past than they are doing today. Oil companies did do an excellent job of not poking the bear and staying away from more populated parts of our state with drilling. However, the state is changing and parts of the state that weren’t affected now could be. Increasing local control will cause the oil lobbyists to have some presence all across the state instead of just in Denver, and that will be costly.


Second is the economic anxiety that the oil industry is facing just as the coal industry did. For the first time in our country’s history, electric cars outsold the combustible engine. This economic shift isn’t something new to this country, but is just more, when it happens now. 


Historically, the work of blacksmiths who shoed horses evolved into automotive plant workers, then assembly line workers and now are engineers for automation in the factory.


To my dismay, this anxiety will not be going away. It’s just not how our economy works and oil field workers will slowly transition to a different career, perhaps even becoming a wind farm technician.


I said at the beginning I had a love-hate relationship on this subject mostly because of how the industry took care of their employees. SB-181 will not be the end of the industry but there will be a shift. The biggest danger will come from the economy and what changes will come from consumer preference. 


The most popular industry always wins but don’t take my word on it, just ask a former Blockbuster employee.

Should we burn our bridges?

Cherry Creek Park 1

We have all heard the phase don’t burn your bridges. I have been told at some point you may need something back on the other side of that bridge. Most of my life I have believed this until  I came a crossed the story of Hernán Cortés and why he burnt all of his ships.

The story goes Hernán Cortés was on a conquest of South America, and he believed the failure was not an option, so he burned his ships when he arrived in Mexico. Cortés wanted to make sure they knew there was no going back. He believed that if his men knew if times got tough they could retreat to the safety of their ships, they would never to be successful.

For myself, I believe that was a little too crazy especially when lives are on the line. However, there is something to be said about his methods and being successful. If you get rid of everything that you can fall back on, then you only have one path, and that is forward. Once you start on that path and you have burned your ships there is no point in looking back because there is nothing to look back on.

Should Everyone go to College?

Central Station

I think education is one of the most important things anyone can give themselves. Now the world is changing, and a bachelors degree by itself doesn’t get you as far as it used to. Any good parent wants the best for their kids, and most believe that a college degree will help them get there. The sad part is for the first time in our countries history; I am part of the generation that will probably make less than my parent’s generation did.

That brings me back to my statement should everyone go to college. Honestly, I don’t believe everyone should go to college. However, I do think that everyone should be prepared to do so.

It’s has become hard to answer that question because is it worth spending four years of your life to getting that piece of paper and accruing all that debt. After you are done with college and you are starting to make some moves in life, it’s hard to overcome all the debt from college. On the other hand, that piece of paper has become the passport needed to apply for more lucrative jobs. Whatever you pick its a hard choice. For myself, I couldn’t imagine not having a bachelors degree. I feel like life is hard enough, and it would be much harder without a degree.

Do Parents Really Matter?

I have been thinking about how much do parents really matter for a while, and I have been going back and forth. I know people with very involved parents and others that have gone without. Most of my life I thought kids learned almost everything that they would need from school or their friends. I felt parents were more of a cheerleader and a financial provider in their kid’s lives. 

I didn’t realize how important parents are until I found kids who had absent parents. This was the first time I saw parents put their wants before their kid’s needs. These kids are missing basic skills, and they are set to be nothing more than footnotes in their own lives.

I have concluded that kids need someone who cares for them. If you are a parent, then do what you can to make sure they are raised the best you can. If you are asking what is the best I will refer you to well know monk Thomas Merton when he said: “I don’t always know the right thing to do, Lord, but I think the fact that I want to please you pleases you.”  As long as you try and you want to be a good parent you will be. If you are too busy to bother with raising your kids, I know of plenty of amazing people who would love to Adopt.  

Surviving Life

New York Skyline

This may be the millennial coming out in me, but life is getting harder. My generation has been told go to college to get an education and then you will get a good job. They left out the part about student loans, and a college degree doesn’t guarantee a good paying job plus the dollar has less value than it uses to.

Businesses are more in-sink to the market, and they don’t hesitate to correct to the market needs. Sometimes that will include a reduction in force. Most of the consistent jobs have been automated away. Being a member of the modern workforce, you need to learn to become flexible with your job description. Along with this flexibility, you become familiar with the uncertainty of employment.

Working for a company for 30 years is no more than a dream because the same position probably will not be around for 30 years let alone the same company. Now it’s all about trying to surviving and understanding that planning long term becomes a fool’s errand.