I made a point earlier about the
pattern of life – youth, aging, and
It’s an important point, because I just
read the piece to my own 15 year old son, and then had him read the link
to Nixon’s own Farewell Address. (I wasn’t torturing him. John’s in
his school’s debate club and the farewell speech was extemporaneous,
making it an important learning tool.)
John enjoyed the Nixon speech, but felt
I read my own lines poorly.
The point is that John, at 15, is a
little older than I was when my generational election came. In 1968
(for those doing the math) I was 13. Assuming the election of 2008
defines his future, John will be 8 months short of voting age.
Yet we are all – all of us –
products of our time. There are skeptics of my theory who claim that
“we all live in 435 micro-climates” so our weather has no
What’s true is that the pattern is not
for me, or for you alone, to define. My idea – that the next
generation will base its political values on the Internet and open
source – will not necessarily come to pass. My guess that it will
is based on what I consider valid historical study, but nothing is
given, nothing assumed.
My son, like your son, and my daughter,
like your daughter, will define their own time in their own way. Just
because I assume they will embrace the Internet, as they are
embracing the Internet, doesn’t mean that their values will be
The page of history has yet to be
written on, as of right now. (No, make that right now. (No, right
now.)) Crises may repeat, and patterns may repeat, but nothing is a
given, and nothing should be assumed.
John’s life belongs to John, as mine
belongs to me, as yours belongs to you. All I ask is that you
consider the patterns, consider the values of the Internet, and try
to make a positive choice.
I’m willing to abide by the result.