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Why don’t Boomers have Visions ? Vol 72

September 11, 2015

You don’t need a parachute to skydive, you just need a parachute to skydive twice ! – Anonymous

In my last blog, I discussed why Progressives and outsiders were doing so well in most of the western world, especially in our many election cycles now ongoing. Established stars, like Hillary, Jeb, and even Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, are facing headwinds to getting elected.  Boomers seem to want more of the “vision thing”, a grand purpose, a story, not the same old status quo. C’mon, we have seen that movie, and its prequel, and want something more meaningful !

To me, Boomers are looking for some big Visions to get behind, to have our own 1960’s Kennedy “Moonshot” goal.  We have our toys, our technology, our trips, and want more. I will not go as far as to say that we lack some moral compass in our lives, but there is definitely a growing hunger for purpose. As we tire of navel glazing, lifting our sights up to the future is beginning to stir a desire to do more, to better our selves, to make life easier for our kids, to make a difference.

We see enough negative in the world, and choose to be positive. The conundrum is that there are lots of small goals / projects / ideas to pursue. Cleaning up your neighbourhood, helping parents in their later years, perhaps volunteering, all great personal things we are starting to do. The vacuum is that if we are to really to sacrifice, we need everyone to buy in, to see real teamwork, to realize that satisfaction that only comes from accomplishing something really hard.

In this endeavour, our political class is failing us. Of course, it’s not all their fault. They are victims of us. We want everything, want to pay nothing for it, and we punish politicians who tell us “NO”. How dare they ! Capitalism gives us what we want, when we want it, and lets us pay for it later. Why can’t our leaders do the same ?

The answer of why not is $200 Trillion. That’s the debt we have accumulated as a capitalist society, and many economists believe the actual debt is much higher. At this point, I like to ask where the money went. Did we build new schools, did we build new roads or bridges, new nuclear sites, or some other asset ? Frankly, I do not believe we did many of these things, so the only answer must be that we swallowed it.  Our waistlines visually answer the question.

But, being an Boomer optimist, I think it’s still up to us to map out a future that has big visions, ideas that can be uplifting, stories we can get behind and help mobilize our generation to be great.  My last blog bespoke the Trump phenomena, a bombastic politically incorrect campaign voicing the thoughts of the middle class. The pundits say the Donald is unelectable, but he continues to flesh out some small visions, like a wall to fight immigration. What if he pivots to some large visions ?

I was thinking about what these Boomer visions should be, and watched a CNN show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, on 5 potential Moonshots.  His list included a MARS colony, an unlimited solar power source, mapping the brain to fix diseases, 3D printing your own replacement heart, and using a scramjet to travel around the world in 4 hours. Amazing stuff, all with a foot in reality today.

Since I would suggest that these ideas are rooted in known science, excluding the Mars idea, they are not really generational goals. They do not feel like we Boomers would have an emotional attachment to them, a connection we will need to get enough support to mobilize us into action. Look at climate change, for example. Our changing world will impact on our kids and our grandchildren, but we resist the impulses to make a positive change.

While I await your suggestions, let me start our Boomer todo list. First, fix our impact on our climate. I believe that our species will eventually use up all the resources of our planet, and will venture out into space, as our numbers expand. Having said that, we still need to drink clean water and breath clean air. Looking at China and their pollution nightmare is a reminder that our planet is still our home. Perhaps a carbon tax, legislation already initiated in many jurisdictions, would be a start. Let’s go hybrid ! Otherwise, we get to see the oceans rise over 5 feet, and kiss our port cities goodbye.

A MARS colony would be high on my list. As the NASA administrator on the CNN show stated, a single planet species can be destroyed, whereas a multi-planet species would survive almost every type of extinction event. Let’s let Elon Musk and Space-X start the journey, but let’s help fund the endeavour.

As a peoples, we waste a lot of energy, lives, and materials in stupid disputes. Let’s try to end them. Fixing poverty would go a long way to maximizing humanity. Image our potential if we could increase education worldwide, wipe out many diseases, and open the door to individual fulfillment.  A hand out is a hand up, right ?

I know, watching all those Syrian immigrants walk to Europe is heart wrenching. Remember that they walk because Syria is an ecological disaster, which led to the civil war, as the farmers could no longer survive on their desert-like land. They can’t go back home ! There are so many of them, what are we to do ? Well, let’s remember where we can from, empathize with their plight, and take them in. We have the space, the wealth, and especially the humanity.

Without goals, we are just barnyard animals, existing day to day, hoping to be fed, without a future. If you think this vision is harsh, just look around your man cave. What do you see ? Yes, its Vision time, and if our leaders don’t see our yearning, lets provide it ourselves.

Next on Boomers – WTF ! ,  what’s your favourite fix ?

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