Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why did the boomers cross the road?

Randall Denley asks a very good question in his Sunday morning article, Why did the boomers cross the road?

Why indeed.

He opens by imploring us to take a long look in the mirror:

One of the curses of being a member of the boomer generation is that everywhere you go, you find that a crowd of similar-aged people just got there ahead of you. We used to flock to inexpensive, unspoiled countries, driving up the cost and spoiling whatever was there. Then we all decided to move to certain popular urban neighbourhoods, driving up the cost and changing the neighbourhoods for the worse with our demand for condo buildings and upscale coffee shops. Now we're flooding to the countryside, buying up waterfront, lakeview properties and even properties with views of lakeview properties. Costs are heading in the usual direction. As a generation, we're like a plague of locusts, destroying everything we touch.
I often note the cynical touch to his articles. He doesn't disappoint with his conclusion:

By my observation, my generation is well on the way to ruining the attraction of rural living. But hey, we're boomers. Ruining things is what we do.

I don't always agree with him, but this article prompted the following emailed words of encouragement:

Good Morning Randall,

Spot on with your Sunday morning article!

We have met the enemy, and, so often, it is us. If we could only understand that for every action, there is a consequence. Over the long term, nothing is free. There is always a price. What you speak of is one more consequence of our consumer driven, must always have more society. For this to be turned around, everyone of us must start taking the concept of stewardship to heart. I am deeply concerned that this will not happen within my life time as too many of us continue to believe that we can build/buy/consume our way out of the mess we have created.

Over dinner with friends just last evening we discussed how essential it is that we begin moving far beyond simply changing personal habits. We need policy change at at all levels of government that start to shift the focus of our society to long term sustainability. If the activity is not sustainable over the long term, why do we as a society allow it to happen? Because we continue to believe that the promotion of ever expanding unrestrained personal wealth (what else can you call it but greed), is a good thing. I enjoy experiencing the comforts of what our society has to offer as much as the next person, but, when is enough, enough? The Europeans, particularly Scandinavian countries, are more than a generation ahead of us in this regard. We are so caught up in chasing our own tail in the blind pursuit of excessive material and experiential consumption. So sad. If only we could learn to Consume Less, While Enjoying Life More!

Thanks for writing this, and keep it up.

Leonard Poole

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