Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Q: I want you to think about the generation that comes after Generation Z, people born in the last 15 years. What things do you hope will be better for them than they were for your generation?

Elizabeth, 82, Kan., white, Republican, retired: I’d like to see less crime, less hatred and more kindness in this world.

Barbara, 71, Ore., white, Democrat, retired: I want to see the next generation be more concerned about taking care of this planet and each other as human beings. I want to see more tolerance.

Elaine, 83, Mass., white, independent, retired: I hope there’s going to be more kindness, people getting along. Right now, it’s just not good at all. We need more time, more love. Money’s not the answer to everything.

Ray, 76, N.J., Black, Democrat, retired: Hopefully the next generation will study our generation and correct our mistakes, because what’s happening in the world, we can’t pass it all off to the generations after us. We have been responsible for a lot of how the world has become today. And hopefully, the next generation will return to a feeling of being one set of people, united together as one country.

Elizabeth, 82, Kan., white, Republican, retired: Wisdom does come with age. It’s the little things in life that really do matter. You shouldn’t stress about so much in this world. It’s easier to just enjoy life and do what you can for others.

—  Kristen Soltis Anderson, excerpts from “Opinion | What Happened to America? We Asked 12 People in Their 70s and 80s.” (The New York Times · April 10, 2023)

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