March 5 , 2024 /


Dear ones,

I have watched you with great interest and much love since you were born, followed you through your early years with your parents, and through your first 12 school years, then college and most of you in your first jobs in your chosen fields.  I am proud of each one of you not only for your choices, your accomplishments and success, but also for the kind of people you have become.  You have the capacities to be both serious and funny, to connect with other people in meaningful relationships and to find those things that bring joy to you and those you care about most.  Your parents’  guidance and influence shine brightly!


The reason I write to you now is because I believe the country needs your voices if you care about your future freedoms of choice, a good measure of diversity, equity and inclusion and equal justice for all under the rule of law.  Because I lived and worked through some difficult times and challenges in the 1960’s, before any of you were born, I may have a different sense about what is going on currently that I find both disturbing and dangerous.


You may or may not agree with me and that is your prerogative, even if we have different opinions.  Each person is entitled to his or her opinion. What they are not entitled to is their own set of facts that are different from the evidence.   Because you are well-educated, I believe you understand that.


All of you, except for one who is the oldest, belong to what is called Gen Z.  The characteristics and behaviors of your age cohort have been studied and here are the results.  You may or may not fit them in some form.  Gen Z is competitive; values flexibility; entrepreneurship; diversity is your norm; you are ethical; and financially focused; also focused on authenticity; independent; and prefer meaningful work.  I say that’s a pretty good list.  Here’s more on the topic


Many in your age group (18-35) have been accused of not being interested nor involved in the political and social upheavals ongoing currently in the United States and beyond.  And I am not surprised by that observation.  You, along with many others may think there’s  not much you can do as one person that will make any difference.  The fact is yes, you are one  person and there are almost 77 million of you in that age bracket.  Imagine mobilizing a significant percentage for a common cause and a common purpose.  That’s how we got stuff done when I was your age.  That’s a strange phrase, “when I was your age…” because so much that follows is different and not different. When your Uncle Jem was 9, I said to him, “When I was your age, there was no T.V.” and he said to me, “When you were my age, were there cars?”  I am not that old!  I may be the senior member of this extended family and “I know a lot of things because I have seen a lot of things.”


I am not urging you to become a political activist nor to engage in any movement unless it’s something you are passionate about.  What I have discovered is that the most important things are to be kind, to tell the truth and remember to say thank you.  You  know that most of my profession al life was in the world of education and helping people of all ages to learn, grow and change, over time.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  As you move to your next stage of adult development and continue to add to your life’s portfolio, my hope is you will continue to discover where you can have an impact and make a difference in moving toward a more kind, just, healthy and safe world.  We are among those who are fortunate to have found meaning and purpose in our work and in our relationships with others.  For that, and for you, I remain enormously grateful and hopeful.







Comments (2)

  1. From Paul W: My phone told me you had published another letter to us fortunate beings, I stopped what I was doing to read it (good one). What I was doing while you sent your email was writing my own private letter to my daughters and their children. In my letter “In case I don’t show up for breakfast” I tell of my early sense that I did not belong to anything or fit anywhere. The first is/was a big deal for me, the second has actually become a comfort…I fit a lot of places. Anyway, we are writing the same kind of letter to our families at the same time but in our own unique voice….I call that belonging.
    Pride, hopefulness and trust are the messages we are passing on.

    1. Thanks, Paul. That we are in sync is not surprising given our histories, experience and leanings. That we care about the same things and can let go of a lot of extra weight or baggage may come with a little wisdom of the ages, or is it more than that? Love that you aew reading “Sapiens” for the second time. Let me know what you learn from this time around that’s new.

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