Friday, November 7, 2008

Tears and Talk Across the Generations

One of the fascinating – sometimes frustrating – dimensions of this election year has been the way we've been working across those generational divides to conceive of and create change. I will admit that I was not an "early adopter" of Obama, as much as I was intrigued (and sometimes irritated) by his candidacy. I still had business to do with my own demographic, those feminist women of a certain age. I felt enormous loyalty to Hillary, especially as I got to know her better during the campaign. It was a compelling story for me, imagining an HRC White House.

And my kids didn't have a clue why: they couldn't see it. Feminism? That was just something that seemed to date me, so incredibly last year. Some of the older people in my life didn't understand it either. So we had to talk, to more accurately put into words our differences of opinion, points of view, and varieties of experience. I was so impressed with the exchanges we were able to have during this long national (even international) conversation.

I read Judith Warner's Domestic Disturbances piece, "Tears to Remember," in The New York Times through a similar lens. (Thank you, LuAnne, for passing that along.) Obama's victory is a defining moment in history, one that signals the fact that we can move forward across generations as well as across divisions of race, class, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

Yes, We Can! That's where we'll find the power to heal, as well as the interesting conversations. Just think of all of the significant conversations, conversions, and convergences this past year, moving across various divisions towards that "more perfect union." I think we've been elevated as a result of them.

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