Our Generation Will Overcome
As the twenty first century dawns, this generation is, quite simply, still in a mess. But by far we have more potential to be a record-breaking generation than the past generations in many ways and we can make a positive difference.
I spent April 24,2002 with my friend, his younger sixteen-year-old brother and seven of his friends who were having a water fight on a mountain. Their socioeconomic status ranges from struggling to make ends meet to almost somewhat comfortable. They are wonderfully American. Among them is one South African immigrant, one African American, one Puerto Rican, one Latino, three of northern and southern European descent. My friend and his brother are first generation Americans with parents from Ireland. These teenage guys are between the ages of fifteen to nineteen. I was thinking about what I should write about for my essay, when it dawned on me that I am surrounded by one of the generations responsible for the future.
I put aside my water gun and observed them.
The future depends on us. In fifty years we will be sixty-five to seventy years old. I expect we will not even remember what the word "retirement" means; that concept will have long disappeared by then. The way we imagine our world to be is ours to create. What we do in the next five decades will be the determinant. The world we will have created by then will be the world our grandchildren inherit.
I decided to ask them questions. I talked to two of them and I asked them to tell me what they see for the future. When they are sixty-five, what do they hope the world will be? Within minutes of beginning this conversation, the other boys flocked in,