This is an excerpt from a chapter of my soon to be released book Is That My Light at the End of the Tunnel? that speaks directly to what we Boomers can and must do to find our “lights” at the end of our “tunnels” – this one relating well to the notion of restoring what’s been lost:
Yeah, right…. We are about as single-minded on how to individually handle the important issues I’ve raised in our “tunnels” as are the Europeans on how to run their Union.
But, that said, there are some basic concepts which I believe the vast majority of us can comfortably get behind, and on which we can build our comeback.
These are the aspects of our Flower Power revolution (even without the LSD) that are a combination of common sense, common kindness, and the underpinnings of all the major world religions. They are:
- Living your beliefs while allowing others to live theirs (e.g. walk the talk…no finger pointing)
- Being kind to our planet, and those less fortunate than ourselves
- Actively rejecting any form of tyranny
- Standing up against abuse and exploitation of other humans (which, according to Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weisel, was the correct reason for invading Iraq), and other species
- Having one martini a night to get us through all of this (just checking to see if you were paying attention…)
- Finding government and corporate deceit unacceptable
- Believing in the power of love, from being non-judgmental of others’ lives to eschewing meanness
So, when it comes down to it, here’s the “honor” we must restore right now, associated with grinding issues we’re facing at this moment, based on the above ideals – we’ve lost track of them, and with our great influence/power must ensure we find again:
- As the most educated generation alive today, start using our great brains to learn and work with the facts, whether we like those facts or not;
- Remember and reclaim what we believed in our youth: love conquering hate, & equality for all (thus our fight for women’s/civil rights, eliminating discrimination in housing & hiring, etc.); to abandon those society-altering-for-the-better ideals with our Muslim neighbors because of their radical minority (hey, Christians have the KKK & Neo-Nazis) is beneath us;
- Another reclamation from our youth: refusing to accept the poor behavior of “the man” we so reviled back then…which, by the way, is now us…we became “the man” (we are the ones in charge of most big corporations, and governments) – we can and must rise up against our own generations’ misdeeds, greediness, & complete lack of interest in the greater good.
- Although history debates the motivation for our society-bettering deeds back then…was it out of pessimism or optimism? – I say it was a combination of both…pessimism about the direction our nation/world had taken, and optimism that if we fought hard enough we could change it. In our age-related crankiness we have lost our optimism, settling comfortably into a world-view based too much on fear and self-protection. Opening up our minds and hearts again is imperative if we hope to make changes that are for the better.
Do these things, and our honor – as the generation that historically made a greater impact on social change than any other in the history of our nation – will indeed be restored.