I’ve been talking to people who grew up in the turbulent Sixties. Some of them are old enough to have been activists then. They marched, they protested, they pushed back against what they saw as the injustices all around them.
Others, like me, were too young to join in, but saw the idealism, the hope, and believed the world would change. We embraced kinder, more inclusive values, and tried to live them. We valued people and connections, not things.
Now, all these decades later, people are back in the streets, protesting against injustice, against police violence, against racism.
We failed. What a hard thing that is to write. But that failure is obvious. Sure, there were some advances, but at what cost? And how sure can we be that those will hold against the forces pushing back against them today?
Every one of those people I’ve spoken to has said the same thing: “I’m exhausted.”
To the millennials and younger who rightfully resent a generation which crafted a society that has robbed its children of opportunity, of safety, of a healthy planet, I say only this – many of us tried to do better.
And if the ominous days ahead require it, I’m all in. Put me out in front. I’m exhausted. But I’m not done. For the sake of our children and their children, we cannot give up.
Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.