Well over a decade ago I had a friend out of the blue come up to me and apologize.
"We blew it." He started out. "It was the moment we could have changed things for the better. People were organized and energized, and we blew it. I apologize to you for that. I apologize that you have inherited this horrible economic and political system, and world that is systematically being destroyed."
"No problem." I said uncomfortably and sort of surprised.
It was a few years after George W. Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court to be President of The United States. My friend came of age in the sixties, at the height of one of this countries most revolutionary moments. He watched Martin Luther King march on our nation's capital with 50,000 people, Malcolm X shot dead on a stage, Gaylord Nelson, the father of Earth Day, elected as our State's Governor then move on to the United States Senate, Federal clean air and water standards enacted, etc.
At the time I thought he was being tough on himself. Why should he shoulder his generation's shortcomings? I thought. Then, over a decade later while reading to my teenage son this morning, I unexpectedly read this paragraph to him:
"I want to apologize, just as people in the generation before mine should have apologized to me, for the wreckage of a world we're leaving you. The people of my generation are passing on to you the social patterns and structures, the ways of being and thinking, the physical artifacts themselves that are killing the planet. We're blowing it, badly, and you'll suffer for it. I'm so very sorry." (Derrick Jensen apologizing to an auditorium full of students at an all boys boarding school, Pg. 50, Walking on Water)
Shortly afterwards it all came together for me, and I apologized to my son. In a couple years he will be entering an economic and poltical system that is far worse than it was when I entered it in 1992. And a world with far less diversity.