Last night on the PBS Newshour there was a segment entitled not succinctly – “How the values, uphill optimism of the Millennials compare to older generations”.
I was on my morning hike on West Camino Cielo above Santa Barbara when I wondered what my father would make of the optimism of the millenials, age 18-33.
He, from the greatest generation, age 82 -, was an optimist. At his memorial service in 1975 a song he’d written was played with the lyric – We stand at the edge of the promise land and don’t know what to do.
Bob Oshins was convinced that the future was good. A technocrat he based his optimism on the march of science and the social progress that had been made in his lifetime.
I’m certain the invention that would delight and fascinate him the most was the internet. Paul Taylor, with Pew Research, attributes millenials’ optimism to – organizing your lives around the technology that allows you to sort of place yourself at the center of the network that you have created.
Where is this village going? Able to organize millions if not billions in a few hours, great ideas continue to flourish and traditional organizations challenged with new political and social constructs.
This, my father would say, is why the millenials are not depressed. At the center of their optimism is a belief that together they will solve the problems of climate change, population growth, and income/resource inequality – to name a few.
The millenials are excited because they know they must be the greatest generation.
I hope I live long enough to see what they do.