Think back to when you were a kid, and the challenges you may have faced growing up. If, like me, you are part of the Baby Boomer generation, you grew up through the civil rights and anti-war protests of the 1960s, a decade marked by massive social upheaval.
Yet everything we faced then pales in comparison to the crazy world our grandkids are growing up in today.
Most of us experienced bullying. Today’s kids face the added ugliness and inhumanity of online bullying, driving some to attempt or commit suicide in despair.
We remember when National Guard soldiers shot and killed four unarmed Kent State students and wounded nine more. Today kids in elementary school through college go off to class each day wondering if they might be the next victims of wanton gun violence.
We experienced families coming apart due to rising divorce rates. Children today face disintegrating families due to the continuing breakdown of personal morality, the opioid crisis, and the effects of poverty that still grips millions of Americans more than 58 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty.”
Through all these challenges and many others, grandkids need their grandparents more than ever before.
And across America, grandparents, retirees, and Baby Boomers are stepping up to fill the gap. Many of us haven’t lost the youthful idealism of our formative years, and we are looking for ways to channel it to help our own families and communities.
Loving my grandkids, and witnessing my granddaughter Clara’s courageous battle against brain cancer, inspired me to start Bridge to a Cure Foundation. We aim to tear down the deadly barriers that impede the search for effective treatments and cures, not only for cancer but also for other chronic and prevalent childhood diseases.
Caring and helping others facing life’s challenges was a motivating force for us in the ‘60s. So was changing the world, trying to make it a better place for all.
Making the world a better place for my grandchildren remains a particular interest of mine.
Governments, leaders, religions, corporations and other institutions are failing to reverse the decline in the global condition. Greed, poverty, corruption, fear, pollution, and broken families cast a shadow over the planet that grows darker with each year and each generation. A continuation of this trend is predictable and unsustainable.
It is time for change, a new approach.
It’s time for the private sector to step up and here’s how:
As grandfather, retiree, and Baby Boomer, I am calling on other members of my generation to step up to make a difference in the lives of kids today. I also want to get other grandparents sharing stories and ideas for how they are helping children in their communities.
Send me your stories so we can share ideas and inspire our fellow seniors to step up and help their grandkids and younger generations.