Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Future past


Add ImageDuring the past week, I have been excited by the "Peace Summit" that has been held here in Vancouver. Of course, the big excitement has been the presence of the Dailai Lama. He is one of my heroes and - in my wishful moments - a role model.

There were several events which have generated a buzz here. One of them, yesterday, was the conference which spoke to the high school student leaders in our province. There were 16,000 present to hear and see an all-star line-up which included Jane Goodall, Marc and Craig Kielburger, Mia Farrow and, the headliner, the Dalai Lama.

As I read about this rousing spectacle, I was transported back to the 60's and this song started playing in my mind. I remember those times vividly. I remember my unspoken dreams which were built on the passions of others like John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ghandi. It was a time of great hope and great darkness. Much like now.

There were so many of us who had these vague dreams and so few who managed to act on them in the big way of our ideals. I certainly didn't. Go to university, get a job, get married, have kids. That's what most of us accomplished.

I don't think that this is a trivial accomplishment. We have produced the kids at that conference: the so-called Generation Fix. Maybe we deserved a title like that, too. So many of us set about by establishing as much distance as we could from our parents' generation dubbed the Establishment. We were going to change the world and bring about Peace and Love everywhere. It was an image of perfection which is a difficult goal to realize.

There were some great things brought to the world by a few of those dreamers. The Berlin Wall fell. Women's rights inched forward. Apartheid in South Africa ceased. We have a multi-national space station in our sky. The Peace Corps, CUSO and other organizations who worked to help those with less. Greenpeace was born. The list is long and varied.


All these good results took patience, hard work and many years. The young people at the conference yesterday will also achieve great things. Some will have the vision and passion to sustain them as they help us toward a more compassionate world. Most will do as we have always done. They will create the new generations of idealists - some of whom will go on to greatness. They will continue to have their dreams in their hearts. And they will, like me know that slowly, slowly, we're moving in the right direction.

Cheers for all the dreamers!

7 comments:

Mimi said...

Stephanie, I agree with you that great things have been achieved by our generation.
It does take idealists to make that kind of change, but it also takes the "grafters" to keep the show on the road too, and produce the next generation, both idealists and grafters.
Somehow, I don't think there will ever be a time like the 60's, and to your honourable list may I add John Lennon?
What an era! What talent! What achievements!

Glennis said...

You had a great time at that venue. Nice to have the Carpenters song in your head all the while.
Fancy hearing the Dalai Lama speak. WOW

Dimple said...

Idealism is fine, as long as one doesn't expect to ever reach the goal. Every human being on earth-even the earth itself-is imperfect. This means that there will be something that foils reaching the ideal every time. TRYING to reach an ideal is good,EXPECTING to reach it is a recipe for depression and guilt.

Dimple said...

By the way, thanks for visiting my blog!

Sunita said...

The Dalai Lama is an amazing personality. He has single-handedly managed to revive interest and faith in a religion and a way of life that would've seemed outdated otherwise.
And yes! I'm for the dreamers too. A lot of great things have been built on those dreams. Dream on!

Rudee said...

I think we still live in exciting times. My politics and beliefs are still quite far from those of my parents generation. I still believe, perhaps naively, that the world can be a better place.

Peace, sister.

Penny said...

Raising children is a significant contribution. But so are your volunteer contributions and your art. Our society and our culture are shaped in small but significant ways by each and every one of us. Although it's incredibly frustrating when greed and evil seem to prevail.

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