Theme for Generation X

The fax machine said,
White. Whiner.
Urban. Slacker.
Educated. Hopeless
Faithless?

This is your label
Generation X. 13th Gen.
Twentysomething.
How do you plead? Where do you stand?

Who am I? Who do I want to be?
What is my truth?
I cleared my throat and said clearly:
This is what it is to me,

Born in the land of promise,
reared on the American dream
came of age sucking on a bottle of endless bounty
woke to find it empty.

Though this fact
was not as unbearable as its recognition or denial,
I watched myself and others ask,
Is there no where to turn save despair?
While waiting for answers--
suicides in graveyards of tombstones and town homes.
I watched myself and others ask,
Is there no more to living than this?
Religion had little to say, politics passed--
faith withered on the vine, I was left with bones.

Then those who turned me from death came.
Died with the children in El Salvador,
Jean Donovan points out the signs on a dark roadway.
In the company of countless others
we search for eternal truth, integrity
and embrace the struggle, the love.

So I say to the labels:

I am not self-centered, I am not living with my parents,
I am not grunge, I am not disillusioned (totally),
I am not alienated, and I am not always angry.

I want to be faithful, I want to be courageous,
I want to shoulder up and shake the world,
I want to pray, I want to see God.

America this is my twentysomething.
Perhaps you do not want to know me
nor do I often want to know you
but we are, that is true!
As I have learned from you,
this you can learn from me--
Although you are older--and more powerful--
you are no more free.

This is my response to the charge of Generation 13.

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine November 1994
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