Margin Notes - Blog

A Noble Mission

Fahad Manjoo recently penned a column in The New York Times entitled, “The Internet is Breaking the Outrage Meter.” He noted that “If you’ve logged on to Twitter and Facebook in the waning weeks of 2015, you’ve surely noticed that the Internet now seems to be on constant boil. Your social feed has always been loud, shrill, reflexive and ugly, but this year everything has been turned up to 11.”

In most cases, this vitriol isn’t caused by honest disagreements or even by passionately held positions, it’s driven by a social phenomenon best described as “unconditional warfare.” We’re battling with ourselves. Over government ineptitude. Business malpractice. Cultural and religious concerns. And what seems like a thousand other flashpoints.

Some blame social media for this turmoil. Others point to the 24 hour news cycle. And still others say it’s the uncertainty and fear created by a world in flux.

Those are all powerful forces to be sure, but they are not the source of our “uncivil war.”

To find the real first cause, we have to look in the mirror. We have to acknowledge that it’s we the people who are doing this to ourselves. We are living the symptoms of a condition that’s weakened our unity and crippled our compassion. We are the agents of our own distress.

There is no fault here, however. This condition happened to us. Boomers, especially, have had to deal with it their entire lives. So, I think it’s appropriate that Boomers should take up the banner of eradicating it, of dislodging its hold on them, their kids and grandkids.

I’m a Boomer so I know what I’m proposing is a big step. At this stage in our lives, we’ve earned a bit of retirement rest. But consider the benefit: taking on this challenge enables us to reconnect with the idealism of our youth and to forge a legacy that’s every bit as great as that of the generations which preceded us. It is a noble mission and A Prescription for the Soul.

       December 11th, 2015