Two sleep cycles have gone by so I know I am not being impulsive here.
I, like many, here am on the edge of Generation X. I grew up having bomb raid practice and watching The Day After which at that time did not feel that much like fiction. If we needed more proof of our collective fear there was also the Boycott of the Moscow Olympics. I cried when I was 11 when I heard those athletes couldn’t go. I was reminded of Ray Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day. Nothing worse than preparing for a party and not getting invited.
On some level these issues have not been psychologically resolved for me and I suspect I am not the only one. I was deeply disappointed when I heard the Obama interview with Bob Costas right before the Sochi Opening Ceremony. I thought there might be a message of progress and a chance to remind people how far Russian/American relationships have come besides all the Fox/MSNBC and all the noise. Instead it was shallow banter about former US Olympians service to “make a point” and represent the US. There are so many issues and I don’t want to project that I think I could have done a better job. It is far too complex for me and my fear of being judged would keep me out of that kind of spotlight. I do, however, have an idea that would bring old and young, past and future together had I had an opportunity to suggest a frame for this moment.
This better be good.
I don’t know if this is good or not. I just know that it is true for me.
If I had a wish at this moment it would be that the US under President Obama’s leadership would host a gathering in Sochi inviting all of the US athletes that had been denied their Olympic opportunity in 1980. Ideally they would march at Closing Ceremony with all 230 2014 US athletes. That isn’t realistic. There could, however, be a party for them so old and new athletes could connect and share a moment in Russia. My 13 year old is training and has a desire to take her sport as far as her skill can take her. Perhaps that is why I have this compassion now. Another reason is that there are several Generation X – Americans who may value a direct loop being closed and a message about rewriting history and the power of progress and diplomacy.
I just don’t want this moment in American history missed to fully leverage a positive bridge between past and future.
There is still time for that party in Sochi.
Regardless of if you lead a family, a business, a community, or a nation – one key role is to keep context in plain sight.
Past –> Present –> Future should be part of every conversational design.