Your future prospects leave my life in turmoil. My heroes are gone. My peers are retired. The “Boomers,” are preparing for what they believe to be their “well-deserved retirement from plotting and scheming to avoid the margins of consensus.” The “X’ers” are floundering, awaiting their turns at “the executive trough.” Where does that leave you, the “Y’s” and “Z’s?”
While we believe we have a good handle on where we have been, we do not know where you are going!!!
We are disappointed because we have not been accurately responsive to your experience. And, consequently, you have created a world of your own—”A Virtual World.” As it grows exponentially in size and holding power, you no longer welcome us in your world and we are saddened because we have so much to learn from one another.
We are most disappointed in ourselves because we have not managed to empower you for your future.
From your perspective, we have things “upside down” as is reflected in your daily experiences of so-called “leadership:”
- Jocks” and “Cheerleaders” who you believe now run the country like they ran the schools and now engage in wars like they conducted football games (think our “cheerleaders”—presidents Bush and Clinton and candidate Obama!)
- “Brainiacs” who now design systems like they did in class without regard to the people who live there (think of the “Incompetents” who designed “Every Child Left Behind!”).
- “The Popular Crew” who always do whatever they want to do (think “Boomer-parents” in their own “Wannabe Virtual Worlds!”).
- “Dorks” and “Nerds” who find their niches in technical specialties without regard to functionality (think “X’ers” as models of functionally autonomous gimmicks and gadgets!).
- The “Regulars” who try out different idiosyncratic personalities and relationships in and out of cyber-space, such as “Emos,” “Drama Queens and Kings,” “Mean Girls,” “Goths,” and “Loners” (think “Y’s” and “Z’s”).
For you, the world we have built is worthless. The cyber-world is the only thing you kids feel you can control. That is precisely why you have built your own “Cyber-Insulated World.”
For us, your world is strange and we worry constantly about how you will integrate your “on-line life” with our “on-life-line.”
In our experience, this is “the greatest generation gap” in American history—exponentially greater than the “yawning void” created by our “Rock-and-Roll Generation” which birthed “Our Teenage Generation.”
We will initiate our American experience by emphasizing our “Cultural Relating Skills,” gifts from our parents’ generation. We will attempt to respond empathically to “Get” your images of your experience. We will attempt to initiate operationally to “Give” our images of our mutual experiences. We will attempt to negotiate “Merged” images of “The Evolving American Experience” through which you might then go. This is the essence of “Cultural Relating” and it requires you as “The Interdependent Relator.”
We will transition our American experience by emphasizing our “Participative Governance Skills.” Understanding that there are no unilateral “Solutions to Anything—Let Alone Everything,” we will bring together all peoples affected by and all peoples affecting any vision, mission, goals, objectives, or tasks. This is the essence of “Participative Governance” and it requires you as “The Enlightened Citizen.”
We will culminate our American experience by emphasizing our “Free Enterprise Skills.” Understanding that we cannot distribute wealth that we have not first generated, we will provide entrepreneurial experiences in all areas of your lives: First, working with you to generate “ideas” for your initiative; second, innovating the “risks” to be taken in the market; third, implementing the “management systems” required to accomplish your goals. This is the essence of “Free Enterprise” and it requires you as a “Generative Entrepreneur.”
Above all else, we must build a world upon which you can build. We must be patriots so that you can become patriots.
The most important thing that we must all understand is “Relating.” In relating, your values become our requirements and our values become your requirements. We must “Get, Give, and Merge” to find the paths to “The Pillars of Civilization:”
- Cultural Relating → Peace
- Participative Governance → Participation
- Free Enterprise → Prosperity
At this point in time, we must employ all that we have learned from our ancestors in this “Great American Experience.” As each new generation emerges, we must relate to discern the smallest glimmers of human potential, in all their diversity, in all their idiosyncracy, in all their potency! And we must facilitate and empower each new generation with the generative thinking skills to create their own new freedoms in their own time!
Together, we must once again deliver America “from its darkest hour!”
Bob and Bernice