A new “Greatest Generation”

I struggle writing a blog post in the middle of a planet level crisis.

The truth is that a large part of me just wants to stay silent in reverence (and denial) for all the new, sudden suffering taking place in the world right now.

When I think of all the different world catastrophes that could unite humanity, an asteroid strike, the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano… This one seems less malignant. And yet, this less malignant scenario, barely unfolding, has already taken a brutal toll in human lives and business activity globally.

20 years ago, after we turned the millennium, I witnessed many corporations talk about their ‘2020 vision’ (such a nice tag could not be missed by any decent marketing organization.) These presentations were riddled with happy growth projections among many other charts full of enthusiastic curves.

Surprise.

This is not about gloom. It is about the true depth of these events, and badly needed change.

I heard many lamenting the disappearance of the greatest generation. The humans that were shaped by the great depression and the main fighters in World War II. We generally admire their will and ability to survive, cope, and solve problems. How selflessly they stepped up to meet unprecedented historical needs to build, to give and to serve.i
But maybe it is true that we only change on the brink of disaster [*], and a new greatest generation is being made right now. I think of my children, now in their mid-20’s and their generational cohorts close by.

You find yourselves living an ancient truth, now with global proportions: That a world divided against itself will be ruined.

I have deep confidence that this new greatest generation will find their own resilience and resourcefulness to meet the remnants of this crisis and the ones to come. That they will spread change and hope in the world. In the next decades they will have on their shoulders the stunning burden to shed our old, widespread intolerant attitudes and wake us up to a new worldwide conscience.

Imagine.

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[*] “It is only on the brink that people find the will to change.” The Day the Earth Stood Still – 2008. This line is spoken by Professor Barnhardt (played by John Cleese) when he tries to convince the alien Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) to spare Earth.