We're lost, my generation, X if you will. And future ones stand to be even worse off. We fear nothing, especially failure, all the while courting disaster by looking for the next, closest reward. All of this freedom would be worthwhile, incredible even, if put to use.
But what do we do? We ignore elections (me, as well as you), we isolate ourselves with wealth and deny all responsibility for the world's ills.
Not that we're entirely to blame for this condition. We didn't exactly inherit a pristine planet or a splendid society. But, more importantly, my generation suffers from a severe case of spoiling. Our predecessors, parents and otherwise, have unwittingly given us too much and thereby taken away the struggle that is the very essence of humanity.
I mean, why study in college when your parents are flipping the bill? They won't mind a little more debt and, hey, if you graduate (eventually) they'll be proud. If you don't, they'll get over it and use their connections to land you a job, in marketing perhaps.
The problem is, all the good wars have been fought. At least the obvious ones. As the saying goes, many men lost their lives so we don't have to. Maybe we should know what it's like to dedicate our lives to an external cause, or at least know someone who has for crying out loud. But making such a sacrifice in anything other than a traditional war gets one looked at as kooky. An "activist."
Despite initial outcries, going after Hitler was a no-brainer to most Americans, especially after the propaganda machine that is our government finally identified him as a threat larger than Stalin. Then we were signing up in droves, brothers, friends and neighbors, thereby making any resistance to it traitorous on its face.
Vietnam, and to a lesser extent the entire Cold War, showed us that even wars must be pure and simple in their (official) goals to retain full public support.
Unfortunately, few legitimate problems are this black and white. Their symptoms are broadly interpreted and their roots buried deep. Just imagine what might be done to the "Creator of Poverty and Homelessness" if such a villian could be identified. The truth is, we don't have enough of a grasp of the circumstances to reach consensus on any issue.
This is partly intentional, because real villians do exist, benefit from such informational inequities, and work diligently to preserve them through illusion and diversion. The other part of this dilemma is there are simply too many problems to understand - much less address - at once. As humans, we do fear what we don't understand. It's a matter of avoiding danger, self-preservation.
So what's the solution? Is it possible to single out the most pressing issues one at a time and build a progressive coalition to make noise about it in enough different places and ways to get its acceptance and support in the mainstream? Perhaps even government and corporate sponsorship? Think of the recycling movement as an example. Just 10 years ago, some parts of the country were completely oblivious to it. But environmentalists sold the idea to governments who faced growing dumps and corporations who could reclaim the previously lost materials. It is now a fact of life and will be for all future generations.
It will require some groups foregoing their initial causes while assisting in the primary mission. There must be an understanding among all that each cause is worthwhile and in need of eventual, spirited support. We as Movers should be able to agree on at least one common goal to get things started, shouldn't we? With starvation and disease still ravaging much of the world, it seems like we could pick out one.
So what's our first mission?