I have been reflecting a great deal on the issue of intergenerational equity in the past few weeks. A speaker at a conference I attended recently discussed that term within an educational context. The recent national election also added to the urgency of my reflections. As a member of the leading edge of the baby boomer generation, there is a special poignancy to remarks by cultural observers that the current young generation’s quality of life will be inferior to that of previous generations, especially my own. The rhetoric of political contests frequently posits that the current election will make all the difference for our youth.
It is impossible for a person of my age and calling not to think about intergenerational equity. Certainly in the present moment in the life of All Saints’ Episcopal Day School, our capital campaign appeals very practically to that sense of responsibility of current members of the school community to imitate the generosity of those who have come before and who have made our present-day school vital and successful.
On a more clearly spiritual level, one of the great blessings of my life has been the rich opportunity to spend my days in the world of school surrounded by children and young people of high energy, hopeful aspiration, and great promise. My calling to my life’s work is rooted in the opportunities provided to me by my own education and all those in generations preceding my own who made that education possible. John Dewey, perhaps the greatest philosopher of education that the United States has yet produced, states clearly and repeatedly the duty of the adult generation to educate our young wisely and well as its greatest intergenerational task. I am so grateful to be part of a school community that achieves that lofty goal, and I am ever more motivated to improve what we do at All Saints’ on a continuing basis. My generation and those just behind me literally owe that to our students. I want them to have even more opportunities than those that I have been abundantly given. We adults can aspire to no nobler or more critical task.
Until next time…