Grit your teeth: told ya’ so isn’t enough

Boomers to This Year’s Grads: We Are Really, Really Sorry (WSJ 10 June 2009).

In 1969, baby boomers took podiums at college graduations around the country and pledged to redefine the world in their image.

Forty years later, they have, and now they are apologizing for it. Their collective advice for the class of 2009: Don’t be like us.

Awareness is always a first step. The problem is that, despite these commencement speeches, awareness for many is still a long ways off. The mea culpa may have a motive more in line with the source of the apologies themselves

But Neil Howe, an author and historian who has studied the cultural impact of different generations on society, said the raft of apologies sounded like a ploy to absolve a generation of its mistakes. “You think about what an apology does, it allows you to maintain the moral high ground.”

It seems that some just can’t get away from it. Dissolving hubris is not an easy task.

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