This hit a cord, because I received a number of responses, most, unfortunately, sounding not too hopeful. Comments like “You say we’re so powerful, but we’re not” and “I agree, and I’ll try, but I don’t believe it will do much good….”
To these, and all my fellow Boomers who still don’t believe that we can, once again, influence major change, I say this: I’ll start with the most obvious – you are as powerful as you believe you are – if you think of yourself as powerless, you render yourself so – but it doesn’t mean you don’t have the capacity to be a powerful influence if you choose to exert it. Which we did in our youth, so we have the experience. We fought for, and won, significant gains in women’s rights and improvements in water and air quality (remember the river in Cleveland that was so polluted it actually caught fire in 1969?), enactment of laws that prohibit discrimination, and hey, if you and your spouse lived together before you got married, that’s thanks to our generational determination to make it socially acceptable.
We have a proven track record for making big changes in this country – in fact, we have had the greatest societal impact of any other generation in the nation’s history, period. But, OK, if that doesn’t convince you, how’s this. It took only 56 men to get this country started (the number in the Second Provincial Congress, better known as the Continental Congress); and if they had felt as you do…that we’re not capable of getting something important done, there would be no United States of America.
So, Boomers, if you believe that being respectful of each other is just the right thing to do, that the loss of civility is the rot that is causing our national house to crumble, then join the movement.
I promise, example is the best way to make important things happen.