"They taught me how to fly."
I am receiving feedback from the book I wrote recently, The First Turning: A Vision of America and a World at Peace.
And one of the questions that keeps popping up is: How did you do this? What made you tie together all of these seemingly unrelated ideas?
I have no pat answer. No PR spin. I can only say this. All of the research in this book has been swimming in my head for many years.
I am a futurist. Only I did not know it.
How can that be? How can a person who has been delving into social commentary in her head for decades not know that she is a futurist?
As a Baby Boomer woman frontrunner, I was conditioned to be perfectly educated and also a perfect second-class citizen. Here’s why.
The post-WWII atmosphere in this country focused on two essential ideas:
· Getting the most people educated as possible, first through the GI Bill for returning veterans, and then those veterans focusing their dreams of a college education for their young children. As a result of this massive culture push, what emerged in the 1960’s was the most highly educated group of women in the history of the world.
· At the same time, in the post WWII era, men returned from the armed services, and women who had become independent and self-sufficient through working in factories for the war effort, returned back to the home. They became wives and mothers. Some of the most popular TV shows of the 2950’s were: “The Donna Reed Show”, and “Father Knows Best”. These two sitcoms instilled in the fertile brains of Baby Boomer kids, the idea that women were not decision makers, activists, intellectuals, or inventors. They were stay-at-home moms.
So, two separate, confusing messages were delivered to Baby Boomer women born in the post-war years after 1945.
As I grew intellectually, as I attained academic degrees, I found that it was comfortable and appropriate for me to be a whiz at implementing other peoples’ ideas. When I brought ideas to the table I was usually told they would not work.
I had a first-class mind but as a woman was a second -class citizen. I thought that I was a frontrunner because of my education.
However, the conditioning of the past held me back.
Then about four years ago, I broke out of the mold. I could not longer be the person who pulled the miracle out of the hat, I could no longer support ideas that were grounded in doing business the same way…all day, all night…the same way.
And a futurist emerged.
Since 2010, I have read 100 books, attended TEDx events in three cities, heard 65 TEDx presentations, gained a working knowledge of neuroscience, read over 500 articles, and talked to countless individuals from every walk of life about their vision of the future.
The First Turning emerged in a rush. I wrote it in three months. It had been fermenting in my head for a long, long time.
The book is dedicated to Amelia Earhart and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. These two women aviators tossed the idea of business as usual. They broke the mold of what nice girls do. They became explorers.
They taught me how to fly.