And then when I was 4-years old MLK Jr. was shot and killed on April 4, 1968. His movement was also trying to say things differently. I have a dream. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.(read this incredible speech here)
I am not really sure how, but I want to believe that though I was too young to have been changed consciously by these events, I was changed in some deep way. Maybe it indirectly influenced me because I had teachers who were already adults during these history-changing events. My parents were New Englanders who brought their three babies down to the south for more grass and trees and openness. Unfortunately, there was also more racism and close-mindedness that went along with the beautiful surroundings I grew up in. I felt it personally when I dared to dance with a black friend at a middle school dance and was shunned for days by my neighbor friends.
I also was born smack in the middle of the Vietnam war, which was from 1961-1970. I have memories of my parents watching the news, but jumping up to turn the TV off when we wandered innocently into the room. There was never a feeling of doom in my house. Never. But now I look back and see that times were turbulent and muscles were being flexed all over this country and beyond.
We each have a connection to the current events of our time. I can now say that my own children were 13 down to 3-years old when 911 happened. We did some talking, some crying, some evasive actions to avoid it. But it will be something they relate to their own generation.
We are not necessarily defined by these events, but to think we are immune to their influence is naive. I am a 60s baby, and in some small way in my soul, I carry some of that with me.