Sunday, June 8, 2014

Rethinking some things about my place in the world

Tim DeChristophers' interview in Yes! magazine has really stayed with me. In one of those non-coincidental coincidences, I'm reading a novel about young protesters in Chicago in the late 60s (not a great book but timely for me). And between the ideas in the two writings, I'm seeing some things from a new perspective.

First, how baffling our protests must have seemed to our parents. After the Depression and WW II, we were rejecting the comfort of the life they'd dreamed of and which they offered us on a silver platter. My dad understood why Black people might be protesting but a white middle-class college grad like me? It made no sense to him. I wasn't radical by any means but I was anti-establishment and that caused a big rift for us for a long while. And why would I be concerned about women's rights? He just wanted me to find a man to take care of me.

And we Boomers have failed the generations behind us. We have let happen what none of us wanted to have happen, even the greediest bastards among us. We have gone on being just as comfort-focused as our parents were. How human of us!

I don't know that any of us could have stopped all that's happening but we did give up trying, most of us. We got discouraged, we got distracted, and while many of us went on making a difference everywhere we could, not enough of us made big differences. It helps me a little to remember that the protesters in the Boomer generation were a very small but loud minority. But I also feel great sadness at my part or lack thereof in what is now too late to remedy fully.

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