There’s been a few OpEd Pieces in the Times about defining elements of generational differences. Last week’s Old Vs. Young by David Leonhardt. Friedman’s piece on The Rise of Popularism and today’s The Downside of Liberty by Kurt Andersen.
Each of these articles made me proud to be part of a blogging community here seeking a sense of place for (he gringes…) Gen Xers.
I do not want the moniker. And it seems none of us do. It’s a definining characteristic even that those in “Gen X” do not like labels, especially the Gen X one. Still, this is kind of a way to celebrate *US*. Not U.S. Not U.S.A. But “us” — the hard-working, non-profit-minded, culture moles digging trenches around historical legacies, arts integrated educational models, and meaningful collections to safeguard them from the natural tendencies of the free market fire storm.
Jefferson knew it. We hold these truths to be self-evident. The fact is that a free-market is not interested in “safeguarding.” It supports selfishness, in a way, as a prime mover. Jefferson knew that if he did not give his library to the Library of Congress it would not survive. A free market would not protect it.
From Carnegie to Ford to Eli Broad and others know that their legacy must be protected by the non-profit model. Even as there are explorations around whether we are overbuilt, at least as a museum industry. In the long run, this will work itself out. Through good work and a focus on truth and hard work by people like us. We are not-for-profit. We are proud. Hard work is the truth part of this equation.
In the Thomas Friedman article referenced above, he quotes Dov Seidman as saying, “The most important part of telling the truth is that it actually binds you to people,” explains Seidman, “because when you trust people with the truth, they trust you back.” To which he adds, “Trusting people with the truth is like giving them a solid floor. It compels action. When you are anchored in shared truth, you start to solve problems together. It’s the beginning of coming up with a better path.”
But today, many of us…we do not work. We rock! Enjoy the Fourth of July and the “pursuit of happiness…” before you head back in tomorrow, and get back to the hard work we all do together!
And for the hard work you…we…ALL do, we salute you. And if you are about to rock, well…