My Letter to the Future

To Whom It May Concern:
I write this letter to you for you to read when you turn 21 years old. It is a big milestone and a big moment. Hopefully, you won’t waste time blaming others for how you and the world have turned out but get on with the job of making it and yourself, better.

As a member of the Boomer generation, we had a good long run and I look forward to your generation of Millennials doing better. I have hope, a powerful hope, that you will do just that. It isn’t easy and you will make mistakes but I expect they will be new ones. Put them down to courage and boldness.

You’ll need to weave your way through the emerging and emergent issues of your time. I am confident you have the integrity, focus, desire and collective ability to make transitions from my present to your future. The windshield is more important than the rear-view mirror if you want to move ahead.

I won’t assume we know now where those transitions need to occur. Change is constant for the foreseeable future. The rate of change is what will steadily increase through your lifetime, I expect.

But, the Boomers and near Boomers, aren’t gone yet. Older adults and seniors have an important role to play.

First, we can reduce our focus on the differences between the generations. “Why couldn’t they be like we were…” is the common refrain. If that were true, it would be like having the recessive gene pool arising with all the weaknesses of the previous generation, only magnified.

Second, we need to genuinely value the common elements. There is a concern for others but it is in a much broader context. Just as climate and epidemics know no boundaries, so too is a concern for others. It can, for example, be for the employment conditions of people on the other side of the world who produce clothing we wear at an unbelievably low price.

Instead of looking at what divides our generations, we could be looking at what unites us. Our world is a very small grain of sand in the universe, but it is home to billions of people. We need to support it now so the next generation can look ahead rather than over their shoulder.

We can remember to say thank-you to the young adults who we know or cross our paths. Thank you for caring. You make a difference in everyone’s lives.

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley