Monday, July 18, 2011

On Friedman's 'The Clash of Generations'

I couldn't help but briefly comment on Thomas Friedman's 'The Clash of Generations' piece in the New York Times yesterday.  I often try to shy away from sweeping statements about generational differences, but Friedman isn't listing off subjective notions here, instead simply reflecting history and current sentiments:
Indeed, if there is one sentiment that unites the crises in Europe and America it is a powerful sense of “baby boomers behaving badly” — a powerful sense that the generation that came of age in the last 50 years, my generation, will be remembered most for the incredible bounty and freedom it received from its parents and the incredible debt burden and constraints it left on its kids. 
To be sure, we have a lot to thank the boomers for as well... the furthering of civil rights, strengthening of the environmental movement and of course some really amazing music are just a few of the things achieved by that generation.  On the other hand, there is a growing sense amongst folks my age of being left in a real tough spot by those who came before us.  It doesn't just play out in fiscal policy either (and now I guess I will indulge in a couple generalizations)... I for one think about the hold 1950s/ 60s culture seems to have on our shrinking congregations as well.  With God's help I pray we can move past the ideological hangups of previous generations (somewhat mirroring what needs to happen in the current debt debate in Washington) to find more practical and sustainable ways of living in Christian community.

I realize this is a pretty basic post, full of criticism and generalizations with no real solutions... the things I mention really deserve much deeper discussion.  It's my hope that it'll add just a bit to the ongoing conversation to find such solutions.  I look forward to your comments, please check out the Friedman article in full, and thanks for reading friends!

God's peace,

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