I’ve been thinking about “The Greatest Generation” — our grandparents or great grandparents who lived through the Great Depression and World War II.
These pre-Boomers emerged on the other side of history as better, more resilient people for having endured and overcome national hardships.
I think of my own generation. We’re the much-aligned Millennials. Are we entitled? Entitled to what? Haven’t we come of age to the tune of 9/11, an interminable war in the Middle East, a recession, stagnant wages, a faux president? What’s been owed to us? What have we received that hasn’t been earned? Haven’t we inherited debt, low wages, anxiety, and shame?
And now we receive a lethal virus.
Yet I look to our forebears as an example of how we can move forward in the midst of a global pandemic. It would benefit us to practice many Great Generation ideals today.
Let’s plant Victory Gardens so we have something to eat as grocery stores are emptied. Let’s self-impose rationing and frugality for uncertain, lean times ahead. Let’s become resilient and bold. Let’s adopt a unified national consciousness to rally against a common enemy: a virus that threatens to kill many and cripple more, financially.
Maybe we’re being called upon to become the next Greatest Generation.
May fear and anxiety be replaced with aspiration and bravery.