Fixing the broken world

Waking the morning after your youngest child’s 21st birthday ought to be a milestone-moment of deep life-satisfaction, oughtn’t it? Especially when that young woman is smart, kind, charming, generous, and so evidently destined for a good and munificent future? And likewise, for her older sister?

It is. It really does seem like only yesterday, when people were cautioning that we’d “turn around twice and they’ll be grown.” Cliches exist for a reason.

But what a world young people are being handed. When the emergency alert sounded at 10 pm last night it was almost reassuring to discover that it was “only” reporting an extension of the curfew. The largest looming crisis on our global horizon, the climate crisis, had been shoved practically out of sight by the pandemic, which itself has now been eclipsed by police brutality.

The president’s cupidity and stupidity, which in “normal” times would already have resulted in his disgraced ouster, barely get noticed now. Or rather, they’re noticed in the same way gravitation and a breathable atmosphere are noticed — they’re taken for granted, for the way things just are. He literally attacks a peaceable crowd for a photo-op with a Bible he’s likely never beheld in his life (not just that book, any book), and it’s merely a fleeting social media meme signifying nothing.

So, I say to all young people today what I said to Younger Daughter yesterday, a jokey amendment to the jokey gift of Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps:

#536 — Always listen to your dad (and laugh at his jokes). Also, please fix the broken world. You and the best of your generation can do it.

It’s increasingly obvious that mine can’t. If hers will vote their consciences in November, though, change can come. Yes you can.

 

 

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