‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.’ – Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act III, 1598.
The years between 1946 and 1964 produced a remarkable generation, the post-war Baby Boomers, who have made substantial positive contributions to the world economy, science, society, music, the arts, technology and in many cases, leadership. While those born in the earlier years tended to focus on business, technology and economic progress, the later years (the hippie generation) focused more on civil rights, social equality, openness in government, anti-war (especially the senseless war in Vietnam) and ecological sustainability. Some how these two groups, very different on the outside, share a common belief in the values of accountability and a long-term view of making things better. This group, more than any other since, have strong beliefs about individual freedom and social progress and also the courage to stand up and bring about real change.
Fast forward to 2011.
I believe it is time for the Baby Boomers to become activists again.
America and our globally connected world needs mature, level-headed, cause motivated citizens to speak out again. To take a stand against the excesses of corporate greed, against the selfishness of elected officials, against social injustices, against environmental abuse. Sure many of us are at or near retirement age. You could even say it’s not our fight any more. Let the younger generation take the lead. I’ve done my bit. I’ve earned my time off.
If these were normal times that point of view might be acceptable. But America and the world is facing unprecedented challenges that threaten our future economic, social and health as a global family. And what makes it more important for these two groups to get active again is the fact that there is a growing undercurrent of anger and resentment that could explode into damaging chaos. Witness what is happening in London. The anarchists have fueled the growing unrest in the British society and unleashed a rage of destruction. That’s not reform. That’s anarchy for the sake of self-gratification and hatred.
I am afraid that if level, mature heads don’t take a stand, then the haters, the anarchists and the sponsored terrorists will fractionate people and communities and damage any hope of social and economic reform. The world will be re-acting defensively instead of acting progressively.
Why should the aging Baby Boomers and Hippie generation stand up again? Because they know how, have been there before, understand the effectiveness and responsibilities of the political reform process, of peaceful protests and are mature enough to help bring about sustainable change. If there was ever a time for positive activism that draws people together, it is now.
Unless we force a meaningful debate and open dialogue, the future that we Baby Boomers worked so hard to create could disappear. My only real concern is that too many Baby Boomers will sit on the sidelines and bitch instead of taking the positive activist route. Which are you?
Tight Lines . . .
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