Recently I read Umair Haque’s post on “The Generation M Manifesto” and Peggy Noonan’s July 11th column in the WSJ on “A Farewell to Harms” and also skimmed thru the long list of comments to both of these posts/columns. Umair focused on the miliennial generation’s different approach to the world & Noonan talked about how Sarah Palin’s resignation was more than overdue. What struck me as similar between the two was the response commentary, particularly the adversarial viewpoints. My takeaway from both is that it’s time to stop making it an “us v them” approach to solving the very real, very challenging global problems. Sound bites about how the other side (old people/generations in Umair’s critique, Republicans v. Democrats in Noonan’s column on Palin) is wrong is not the point in my mind. Figuring out how to create meaningful, thoughtful, and realistic long-term solutions to our problems is the point. That takes real leadership, it takes guts, and it takes a desire to collaborate across multiple viewpoints rather than pushing the old stakeholder claims deeper and limiting our ability to rise above the many challenges we currently face.
While I’m not a millennial like Umair or a Republican like Noonan (yes, for all her current Republican haters she was Reagan’s speech writer and biographer and has way more columns over time w/ a strong conversative focus), I identifed with the gist of what both of them were trying to get across. I also don’t think either were saying that you had to be young (Umair’s generation) or clinging to a traditional party line (Noonan’s column) to aspire to a higher purpose of meaningful, thoughtful leadership that cuts across generational and party lines.
Stop taking sides and start making a difference!