We're So Much Younger Now 01/23/2011
"Ah, but I was so much older then/ I'm younger than that now." My Back Pages, Bob Dylan 1964
For college seniors, spring brings our last times together, and though none of us would care to admit it, some of us are enjoying our "last call," with people and friends we may never see again except during Alumni Weekend. And this year's class of____is a special class, for those of us graduating hold a special responsibility in the world. We entered high school--the breeding ground of those who will make the world work, who will bear the torch of ideals and ideas, for the end of the century--in the beginning of this decade, and now we have come full circle and leave college at the climax of the ____.
Our generation is weighted with greater burdens and more straining responsibilities than any generation of this century. And we must make those decisions that will confront us in the next thirty years based on our experiences in the 19__. It is we who will shape and set the tone of the ______ century through the decisions we make in business and on Wall Street, through the way our future lawyers choose their cases and interpret the law, in the literature we write, in the presidents we elect, and in the music we compose.
Never before has a generation faced a new century with as much responsibility as ours. The beginning of the ____ century brought the industrial age and automobile. We are faced with the task of harnessing nuclear energy so it may be put to work efficiently. We are faced with the challenge of finding alternative ways of disposing our refuse, both toxic and non-toxic. We must make progress in space, using the new, difficult technologies to our advantage in this area. And, we must face the reality that America is not as strong and influential as it was when our parents grew up, or when our grandparents emigrated here.
Though the tmes have changed, and the environment has changed, I hope that our ethics and ideals have not. The burden of hope is always placed on the shoulders of graduating college students, and for us, that burden is a great and tangible one. And just as we pulled together as a community and provided each other with friendship, caring and understanding these past four years, we must pull together in the larger community of adulthood and do the same.
And the Grateful Dead will still be touring!
I hope that sounds prophetic. I eliminated key dates, because I want you to read it with this in mind: I wrote that for the Providence College student newspaper on April 19, 1989.