Obama inspires! (From Gen-X Apathy to Sense of Purpose)

I have been following the U.S. democratic primaries pretty closely and I am struck by Barack Obama’s amazing talent to transcend everyday politics and inspire in a way that no leader has done in my lifetime. Obama’s abilities and his unique and transformative potential were well articulated both by small-c conservative libertarian Andrew Sullivan in the Atlantic Monthly and by Caroline Kennedy in this weekend’s NY Times.His ability to engage the passion of youth and unite it with the wisdom of age inspires me. In my community engagement work, I am attempting a similar kind of engagement and I am learning a lot just by thinking about this task in the context of the emerging Obama moment. If successful, he will be the first President of the Social Web Age.

But you only need to witness the man himself in his moment.

Why do I want to believe? Because we are facing increasingly intractable and difficult problems. The old ideologies are failing us. Government is failing us. Corporations and other large institutions are failing us. I believe that human culture applied through our creative passion will solve the most difficult problems of our age. They are, in fact, the only things that ever have. We have no choice but to unite, collaborate in new ways and harness the creative spark in every individual. It’s not a matter of being idealistic, it’s a matter of survival and the resilience of our communities and society in the face of accelerating change.

Why do we engage young people? Because they have the energy, the passion, the new ideas and the skills to realize them. They also need the wisdom, knowledge and experience of their parents generation.

If Millennials have the passion and ideas, and the Boomers have the power, authority, capital and experience, then the epochal role of Gen-X folks like me is to help broker the relationship between the Millennials and their parents. We are the ones working to build the institutional structures and the inter-generational interfaces of the new millennium. This is my mission and the focus of my consulting work, and I know it describes the role of many of us in our own ways.

4 thoughts on “Obama inspires! (From Gen-X Apathy to Sense of Purpose)”

  1. I, too, find Obama an inspiring character. No matter who wins in the Presidential Elections, I hope that he will continue to do his best and inspire everyone to seek peace and pursue it. He has the mark of a true leader and I’m sure he will be able to make a big difference for his country.

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