Mushrooming government deficits, rampant unemployment, pressing environmental issues... young people face many challenges in today's global economy.

In America, this is the first time we see a generation of young adults whose financial future looks less promising than it did for their parents at the same age. According to a recent survey, many baby boomers don't plan to leave their children an inheritance, because they feel wrung dry by the sacrifices they made paying for their children's upbringing and education.

In families of network marketers, however, things are a little different.

Network marketing leaders who are parents are keen on building a financial foundation for their families that will last for generations. Besides the financial security their business may provide, many also point out the powerful positive impact it has made on their children's development.

What exactly is this impact? In this issue, we asked adult children who grew up in network marketing households all over the world to share their experiences. You can read their answers in the Our Times column, but here are some highlights of what they learned at an early age:

As varied as the lessons these kids wrote about were, there was one overarching quality present in all their answers: every single one of them felt grateful for the blessings they received and inspired by their parents' examples.

In Europe it's often said that "wealth skips a generation" because the wealthy tend to spoil their kids, who develop an entitlement mentality that eventually depletes all their resources. When they in turn have children, this next generation is again motivated and works hard to lift themselves out of poverty, but, wanting to make sure their children won't have to go through the same hardships they did, they shield their offspring from adversity... and the cycle starts all over again.

What if we could break this cycle and raise a generation of confident, resilient adults who, no matter what their financial situations, learned to choose contribution over entitlement and courage over fear?

Parents want to know that their children will be equipped to handle whatever life hands them. One of the greatest and least mentioned benefits network marketing offers is how it teaches our children leadership and success principles they would never be exposed to through traditional education.

Yet the ultimate gift we can model and teach them is an attitude of gratitude. For no future gift or achievement will ever fulfill us unless we feel grateful for the blessings we currently have.