The Legacy of Our Generation

On Saturday evening, I was talking with a friend at a fund-raising event for our church. Hosted by a generous and warm family, the Oktoberfest was complete with authentic German food, music, and plenty of beer. Each of the 40 or so party-goers paid $25 to attend, with the money going to Heritage, our congregation.

To get back on topic, the conversation moved to the 70’s, and our participation in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War. Compared to some of my peers, although I was very active in marches around Cincinnati, my politics were moderate and peaceful. As the conversation wandered to the present, we considered the aging of the baby boomer generation, and the path we’d taken. At which point, my friend turned to me, mouthing the same words running through my mind, “we blew it!”

“We blew it.” A reference to one of the final lines of a milestone film (well, at least for me), Easy Rider. Riding their choppers in search of America, Wyatt, played by Peter Fonda, came to discover what a spiritual failure their search had become.

The Boomer Generation had an opportunity, had the hope, and maybe even the vision to change the world. We were on the edge of a revolution in technology never seen in history. In many respects, we’ve squandered all those resources and value. We’ve sold our souls and visions to greed and competitiveness. I believe we should leave a place better off than it was when we came, and I’m not certain I can say that about our generation.

I considered elaborating further about this gloomy state, but I don’t know that it’s all that necessary. Let me end instead, with words of hope as I look at my son and daughter and the amazing people they’ve become. I look to them and their peers to advance their idealism to our world community.


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