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Responding to the Crisis: Boomer Apologies

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This crisis didn’t just happen. We Boomers built a fragile world that was ripe for a catastrophe like this and we need to take responsibility. Five years ago, Bill Gates warned us it would happen in a Ted talk, The Next Outbreak? We’re Not Ready. The writing was on the wall. Instead, we focused o…
By Seth Barnes

This crisis didn’t just happen. We Boomers built a fragile world that was ripe for a catastrophe like this and we need to take responsibility. Five years ago, Bill Gates warned us it would happen in a Ted talk, The Next Outbreak? We’re Not Ready. The writing was on the wall. Instead, we focused on lining our pockets and spent our resources.

Specifically, how did we mess up? Here are a few thoughts:

We didn’t invest in the systems to build the virus tests we needed.

We spent the resources we now need. Our nation has been running trillion dollar deficits for more than a decade. We are drowning in debt when we need savings.

We’ve built a society focused on individuals, not families at a time when we need families.

We’ve built a church whose main offering is often sermons, not love at a time when we need love.

So, I want to propose that a good place to start is for those of us who had the stewardship responsibility to repent or apologize to those who will inherit the mess. Unemployment is high and people are anxious. They are lonely and afraid and their savings are spent. We need to own our part in that.

We need a generational conversation about how we move from hiding to a better place. I know I have to constantly fight the temptation to retreat into self-protection instead of pressing into this conversation. I have felt hurt and am sometimes cynical. I don’t want that. And it bothers me that I have to admit it. I repent of that.

This is just a little blog, but I want to create the space in the comment section for any Boomers reading this who feel a little brave to repent or apologize for their part. 11 years ago, I did that with a blog post giving people the opportunity to apologize to God. Over the years, 580 people have written out their apologies to God.

Taking ownership where we’ve been responsible is how we start building a world we wish was better.

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