Generation S

March 2, 2009

In his inaugural address, President Obama spoke of ours as ‘a moment that will define a generation.’ He pointed specifically to the men and women in the armed forces as those who ‘embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.’ ‘Precisely this spirit of generosity,’ the president explained, ‘must inhabit us all.’ His is a clear call to service, quite the opposite of so much we have witnessed during the past year, which might be called the year of Generation G, for greed.

Consumerism, greed and self-centeredness have surely contributed to the economic morass in which we find ourselves. Is it time now to move to a new spirit? Can we foster a culture or civilization of service, a civic generation? Generation X produced the pop culture of the 80’s and 90’s. Then came the millennials of Generation Y, born between 1980 and 2000. What might we call the new generation? Instead of C for cellphone, I for Internet, V for virtual or D for digital, how about Generation S—for service?

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