Saturday, March 17, 2012

Is the model of engaging the young broken? Recent generations care less about social problems, really?


When I saw this article on the "metro" paper that gets passed out when you ride the metro, my first thought was: bunk . . . but as I did a little more digging and spoke with my own college kids I wonder if maybe they got it right.

"They have a reputation for being environmentally minded do-gooders. But an academic analysis of surveys spanning more than 40 years has found that today's young Americans are less interested in the environment and in conserving resources - and often less civic-minded overall - than their elders were when they were young."

If that's the case, we're really screwed.

Think about it this way: for years we've been talking about our passion for positive change on so many social fronts always saying: "for our children and for their children" as a battle cry to invoke change from environmental to social issues. The intent was to fight for a better world to leave our kids and in the process educate those same younger persons to follow us into the fold and pick up the flag after us - but now I wonder if our children will have the same struggles we have, an apathetic "care less" peer group.

While better educated and exposed to the social ills of our culture in so many new ways, I'm wondering why there remains a disconnect with the Gen Xer's and Millennial's? Perhaps it's not a disconnect, maybe more like a "what ever" attitude which may explain why so many of our member base has a little more gray on top. What are we missing? Have we over played our passions to the point that they are numb?

Last week at the Fight Colorectal Cancer 2012 Call-on Congress activist event we had one of our "fighters" bring their teenage son along. At first I really wondered if this was such a good idea but after meeting and talking with this young man I could see the spark, the passion - getting into the mix and engaging with politicians at such a young age was inspiring to watch and he was a ball of energy that many in the group really resonated with.

I get the impression after seeing studies like this article in the AP that our young Fighter could be a rare commodity. Is there anything left for us "boomers" to do?

Be careful out there, and keep those lawn blades sharp!

Michael Sola finds solutions and can translate tech into english. He's a blogger, invited presenter and speaker, he knows how to listen - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub.

Follow him at or : his views and comments are his own. He doesn't like talking about himself in the 3rd person, just ask him

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