A top-10 list that matters

It's embarrassing. We Baby Boomers are getting ready to hand the keys of America over to the next generation and, if in the process we were fully honest, we'd say something to them like "Well I'm afraid the country's much poorer in natural resources than when we found it, and its schools and other public institutions are much weaker, and the prospects for a career that will support your family are much thinner, and the world's a lot angrier and more hostile to us now &

but hey, you're smart kids, you can figure it out. And oh, we almost forgot: Before you get to that, here's a $10 or $12 or $15 trillion tab for the banquet that our generation enjoyed. It was delicious, too, so thanks a lot, really."

It would take some delusion to believe that we can reverse trends so thoroughly in our remaining years that we can match the accomplishment of so many generations that left their kids a better world than the one they found. But we might still have time to mitigate some of the damage. What would be smart ways to do that?

That question surfaced recently as I interviewed Dominic Allamano on Immense Possibilities Radio, a new Web cast venture in which lots of questions and an occasional answer are beginning to surface (for more information on IPR, e-mail ipr@opendoor.com). Dominic is a vitally brilliant community-builder a little more than half my age. I asked him if he'd convene a conversation among his peers to compile a list of 10 specific, actionable things Baby Boomers could do to provide meaningful support for 20- and 30-somethings who want to make a difference. He and his friend, Shiloh Boss, another young emerging Ashland leader, came back with a list that should be studied by anyone over 50 who thinks we could have done better at the helm, and still wants to. Here's the list, exactly as they passed it on to me:

10 Things Boomers Can Do to Support the Emerging Leaders of Tomorrow:

1. Be open to creating genuine and supportive relationships with young adults. Seek us out. Wonder together how we might add to each other's lives.

2. Admit that we might function very differently, communicate different and have different life styles or work habits. Be willing to mutually inquire together and determine together the best way to navigate our unique attributes.

3. Get to know us in a meaningful way. All of us are facing profound moments in our lives and in the face of our current world events. Take time to share stories together. Dialog about what matters with us. Summon us into genuine relationship together.

4. Mentor us. Make ways for all to benefit from your experience. Pass on your skills and wisdom.

5. Learn from us. Understand that there are certain things that we really have a handle on. Whether it's technology, nutrition or an innate intelligence toward what is required in the future world, make space for us to contribute to your learning and growing awareness in life.

6. Share opportunities with us. Include us in projects that interest you. Hire us in your company &

encourage the best out of us. Introduce us to people that you hold in high regard.

7. Create opportunities with us. Network together. Consider ways that we might synergize together. Engage with us in mutual endeavors. Collectively create with us.

8. Speak good fortune onto our behalf. Tell others about how you value us in your life experience. Incite greater consideration of us from other people and places you are affiliated with.

9. Invest in us. So many are part of great projects and businesses that, with the appropriate support, have the potential of turning out a great profit into the future. In the face of a collapsing economy, realize that putting your dollars into the direct investment of promising ventures of the young adults in your community may be far more smart and resourceful than investing in some illusive and descending wall street dollar.

10. Go all the way &

be a benefactor.


162; Consider budgeting in the sponsorship of a promising individual. The odds are any size contribution will provide a much welcome line of support.


162; Do you own a second home? Donate it to one or more talented young adults who could use to stay rent-free while they develop and launch a promising business venture. Some of them may even be connected to a non-profit, write off your contribution.


162; Include us in your will. Pass on your legacy of valuable contributions by including us in your inheritance.

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At the bottom of this list, Shiloh added, "What a task we all have at hand! In the spirit of joining hands, hearts, and forces, the impending pressure of what we really face is far more approachable. Together we do make a difference!"

Which needs not a word of additional commentary from me.

A circle of wonderful young people have reached out. Do you want to reach back? You can contact Shiloh at evolvingshiloh@gmail.com and Dominic at dominicallamano@gmail.com.

is the author of As If We Were Grownups, Forest Blood and the new novel Unafraid ().

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