We Boomers are the unfinished generation. Not lost, but short of a legacy worthy of our youthful dreams.
Yes, we’ve worked hard and achieved a lot, but there’s more – much more – still within us. We’ve not exhausted our potential or depleted our aspirations. Despite what the age bigots might think (or wish), the door isn’t shut on the consequence of our passage.
And these times – these rancor-filled, disuniting days – demand our attention. They may present as a national sourness or an economic-driven anger, but they are far more deep-seated and dangerous. These days are the sign of a societal sickness, a malicious condition that gnaws at us, but worse, eats away at the heritage of our kids and grandkids.
Finding a cure for this condition won’t be easy. Its cause is elusive, hidden by a myopic fixation. We can see the symptoms – we wake up with them, take them to work with us and bring them home again in the evening. They are always there, so we focus our attention on them.
They are the political system that fails to find solutions or a consensus for the greater good. They are the companies that fail the planet and the workers who create their success. And they are the Wall Street banks and hedge funds that fail their investors and the public as well.
These sores are a scourge on our wellbeing, but they do not cause our condition. Treating them will relieve some pain, but not prevent its return. And that must be our goal. To eliminate once and for all the source of this dysfunction, the root of our spiritual disability.
That pathogen is not a failing of our institutions, but of the people in them. The people who direct them and the people who follow their instructions. It is We the People who are ill. Not all of us, to be sure. Not even most of us. But too many – far too many – to ignore.
They practice unconditional warfare on our body politic, insisting that only they are right, only they have what it takes to win, only they deserve to succeed,. They are the politicians who refuse to govern for all of us. The corporate leaders who refuse to accept responsibility for anyone but themselves. The bankers and hedge fund tycoons who refuse to acknowledge ethical standards. And, the 1 percenters who refuse to be bound by the rules that govern the rest of us.
But, they are also We the People who allow them to behave that way.
We are the enablers of those who commit these abuses, and renouncing that role is the unfinished work of the Boomer generation. We must step out of our passivity and stand up for a nation that serves all of its people. Beginning today – at this very moment – we must begin a campaign to call out, reject, boycott and abandon the corruptors of our democracy.
Shouldering this responsibility will be a severe test. It will try our determination, challenge our courage and push us to the limits of our abilities. But in accomplishing it, in making it our generation’s final gift to our kids and grandkids, we will have left a worthy mark. A legacy of which we can be proud. A finish to be remembered and revered.
Peter Weddle February 17th, 2016