Janice Blanchard offers her deeply heartfelt thoughts on the new direction our nation took on Election night 2008. I share her sentiments completely…
All of my life, I have felt ten years behind the rest of my generation– the 76-million-strong Baby Boom Generation.
In November 1963, when John F. Kennedy was tragically murdered in Dallas, Texas, I was three and a half years old – and vaguely remember my mother crying during the middle of the day. In 1965, during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King’s March into Selma, I was in an all-white kindergarten in Wilmington, Delaware mostly oblivious to racial tensions and the vast prejudices and inequality that made up America. In 1968, through Walter Cronkite, I remember sitting with my father during the six o’clock news, scared but outraged by the unspeakable horror of the Vietnam War and moved by the anti-war protests that rocked our country – and deeply saddened by the deaths of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy Jr. In the summer of 1969, caught up in pre-adolescence and a popular culture on steroids, I distinctly remember wanting to go to Woodstock and wear halter tops and Yardley lipstick. In the early 1970s, during the peak of the Women’s Movement, I wanted to join Gloria Steinem and my sisters that were finding their voices and fighting for the equal rights of women.
But as each social justice movement came along that struck a chord deep within my soul, I was always just a few years too late. By the late 1970s, when I finally came of age, it was the” jaded age” – the Boomer Generation that had done so much to try and create positive change in the world in the 1960s had hit a collective wall, and turned to wrestle the demons within. We emerged in the 1980s into the World of the Yuppies and Reaganomics. In the 1990s, during the “Dem-Light” years of Clinton’s middle-of-the road ideals and politics, I finally got married, started a family, and turned to my career to find meaning — forgetting and forsaking that deep yearning to be part of the collective conscious of creating deep and meaningful social change.
This past winter, at Denver University, I heard Barack Obama speak during the primaries. Within moments, I knew that all my life I had waited for this moment to arrive – that finally I was at the right place, at the right time and that my soul’s desire to align with others that want to make a positive difference in this world had finally come. Finally, it all somehow seemed to make sense. I would do whatever it would take to see this man to the Oval Office.
Tonight, as I watched state after state pledge their audacity of hope in Obama and the future of our tattered and threadbare nation, I feel deep gratitude to be given this opportunity to be part of a collective movement galvanized to create positive change in America and the world. Within every fiber of my being, I feel renewed and hopeful – and so very excited to be part of the change we have been waiting for.
Peace and Love, JB