The Unfinished Revolution

Sunday, January 18, 2009

“Twenty-five years ago they spoke out and they broke out
Of recession and oppression and together they toked
And they folked out with guitars around a bonfire
Just singin' and clappin' man what the hell happened.”
- Walking on the Sun (Smash Mouth) -

I recently heard an interview about what could be the most exciting thing to happen in a generation. It turns out that after years of toiling, scratching together small fortunes, and finding ever new ways of increasing creature comforts, the boomers are back.

So let me get you caught up real quick. The boomers were one of the most amazing generations in western history. They single-handedly proved that the power of the people has the ability to set political agendas. They ended Vietnam, they brought about awareness of sexual orientation, and they helped solidify the gender equality movement. And then, as Smash Mouth so eloquently put it, BAM – what the hell happened? They became the generation that displayed the most veracious consumption habits in history, and don’t forget a little dash of complete disregard for social rights around the planet.

But then there was hope. Like a wildfire clearing the brush from an overgrown forest, something is changing. It turns out that an increasing amount of Boomers (or The Woodstocks as Adbusters loving refers to them) are turning a new leaf. It seems that nowadays, an increasing number of boomers are becoming bored with there careers. Maybe the word that I am actually looking for is anxious. And it appears that after years of work this generation has amassed the financial security they were looking for and are now starting to realize that there is some unfinished business.

So imagine this, you have worked for many years at a job that likely didn’t fulfill you. You are on good financial footing and could retire anytime in the near future. You see the disastrous state of the planet and you say it’s time to roll up your sleeves, it time to get back into the game. Why not, you have the time, money, and skills.
Julia Moulden is the author of a new book called “We are the New Radicals: A Manifesto for Reinventing Yourself and Saving the World”. She argues that people are now taking up the gauntlet they left behind years ago and using their skills to make things right.

I think I have been dancing around this for long enough. Here is the reason why this movement is so important. Think of people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Al Gore. They used the wealth and knowledge collected during their lives and decided to use it for good. Their technical skills, charisma, and networking potential make them incredibly powerful agents of change. Now, if even a fraction of the Boomers alive today make this switch; imagine the benefits to NGOs, to community organizations, and to the sustainability in general.

I don’t know what the definition of karma really is but I do know this, the Boomers helped change the course of history. Their dreams of a better planet inspired a generation of reform. Then, their apathy created a shift towards unethical over-consumption. Now there are glimmers of hope that they have shaken off the cobwebs, that they are not going to put the fate of the planet on the shoulders of the subsequent generations, that they are going to finish the revolution that they started.

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