By Lauren Kotkin, ASF
A friend’s older cousin is a World War II veteran, a bombardier who spent 8 months in a German camp for prisoners of war. He wrote a book about his experiences, and I finished it quickly, completely taken by his detailed storytelling. The politics he sprinkled throughout? Not as much appreciated by this reader and very much in contrast to my own. But they in no way colored my enjoyment of the book, because I understand that his views are a direct result of his life experiences—and similar to many in his Traditionalist generation.
On the recent ASF webinar Multiple Generations at the Table, I was intrigued by the generational descriptions given by Danielle Oristian York at 21/64, an organization that works to bridge generational differences in philanthropy. I’d heard many before, and like Danielle, I have Gen X pride and agree with most of how Gen X is described. If the shoe fits, as they say.
But how would I serve on the same foundation board with someone like my friend’s cousin? How would we find common ground given our different paths, different generations, and different truths?