Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bye bye boomer-centric culture

The pictures of the inauguration on television were mind-boggling. Although I was prepared to see millions of people, because of all the talk leading up to today's event, it was still something to see.

The only times I can remember seeing such crowds in DeeCee were anti-Vietnam War demonstrations 40 years ago. And, in a way, it felt like a war had ended today. However, since I've decided that I shouldn't be a sore winner and do any Bush-bashing, TODAY, I won't expand on that notion at this time.

For whatever it's worth, I can't remember ever being so happy with a new president as I am today.

Oh, I know plenty of my fellow baby boomers are feeling a little uncomfortable about President Barack Obama. In spite of how much this country needs to change, pronto! they don't understand Obama's call to move beyond partisan political shenanigans, as they've been practiced for the last 25 years -- with payback heaped upon payback.

Some will continue to search for hidden motives in whatever Obama does. Others will try to shackle him with their expectations, based on what they want him to be. The Obama I see isn't likely to let that slow him up, because he's a problem-solver at heart.

Hey, there are people, regardless of their age, who are afraid of change every time. They are like an ordinarily weak swimmer who's willing to cling to a log all the way down the raging river, over the waterfall, rather than let go and try to swim for shore.

Or, maybe they're more like the guy who will stay on the wrong road, forever, rather than pull over and ask directions. Obama says he'll take the best idea and use it, regardless of who had the idea in the first place. I believe him.

Well, the young at heart, regardless of age, are excited about the change America made today. They don't want to go over the falls to crash on the rocks far below.

Billions of people, the world over, are excited, too. They all saw the miracle of America changing administrations, again, peacefully. Where else in the wide world of politics could pictures like those we saw today come from?

Where else could Barack Obama's story have unfolded as it has here in the USA?

Talk about hope!

Of course, the baby boomers aren't totally finished yet. Some of us still have a few teeth left. But the sway that generation, my generation, has held over the American culture is no longer waxing. Because of their sheer numbers, the spoiled boomers have been getting their way for way too long. The pictures on television today told me that's changing as you read these words.

-- Words and art by F.T. Rea


Anonymous said...

Well said. How Obama deals (or does not deal) with boomer entitlements may be the biggest issue of his tenure. Like most Americans, I want him to succeed, but the grey future is here.

Katey said...

I loved Obama's speech today. I didn't get to watch it until I got home from work this evening. Here's my favorite part:

"So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

I'm not ashamed to say that this speech moved me to tears at several points, but that closing was amazing. It spoke directly to our dreams of what we, as a nation, can be and called on us all to do the heavy lifting it takes to realize those dreams. Beautiful.