I know that when many a Boomer look out at us — their next-junior generation (GenX-ers, 13ers) — that they don’t see much in our generational potential for leadership. My sense is that they don’t see how we provide leadership. And this is quite understandable because our realm is not their primary interest.
While I appreciate a good public leader now and again, my natural orientation is to the Underworld of Society … the place where systems are observed, made better, observed again and made even better yet. I’m talking about The Land of the Geeks, where hour for hour, the self-directed efforts Geeks have given to Society Itself, is enormous. By tending to detailed, often menial, tasks of developing and enhancing software, systems, platforms and such, Geeks make things happen, get things done and solve problems so detailed, it’d put you to sleep just trying to explain them.
See, Geeks make our communities, businesses, technologies, organizations … and, dare I say, Democracy Itself — stronger with their open source, blog-oriented, socially networked communities. They make things better because the systems need to be better, so that we can all be safer. So that Society Itself can function better. And their volunteer work — deep and hidden from 99% of the publics’ awareness — requires no awards, no organizations, no committee meetings and no boards of directors. They just require the opportunity to serve and be of service.
Of course, some of this technological work is paid. Geeks gotta make a living. But, could it be calculated, I’d guess that billions of dollars of value have been added to our economy in the behind-the-scenes, unpaid work that Geeks have provided. Value in the form of self-directed problem solving, strategizing, technical work, publishing and technical support given freely. Such knowledge would make a fool out of those
who claim our generation isn’t an engaged citizenry.
So, to our next elder generation (Boom), and to our elder-elders (Silent) … to our next juniors (Millennials), when you look at our generation and see chaos, paltry team spirit, morality that makes you shiver, and few representatives in public positions, remember, Geeks Rule the Underworld of Details. And in so doing, we allow you your role in Society Itself to be stronger, more valuable, and wondrous. So, go and live your dreams; make the world a better place. Know and trust, that whatever you do, the Geeks are doing their part to make the world a better place, too.