SOTU: We the People Includes All Generations


Updated: 01/14/2016 9:59 am EST

This week President Obama’s message was clear: “We the People…Our Constitution begins with those three simple words,” he explained, “words we’ve come to recognize mean all the people, not just some; words that insist we rise and fall together.”

It’s true. This inclusive preamble speaks to how the lives of Americans – young, old and in between- are inextricably linked.

And together, he went on to say, we face “a time of extraordinary change that’s reshaping the way we live, the way we work, our planet and our place in the world.”

At the heart of the change are our dual changing demographics.

Generations United and the Generations Initiative’s signature report Out of Many One: Uniting the Changing Faces of America, states “Americans are living longer and healthier lives. We are more racially and ethnically diverse. There is a growing generation gap. Today more than half of Americans under the age of five are people of color compared to less than one in five Americans over 65.”

The president said that as a nation we should come together to embrace the change, rather than face it with fear.

We should view this change as an incredible opportunity and use innovative approaches to stimulate cooperation and collaboration among generations.

The president noted “Progress is not inevitable. It is the result of choices we make together. And we face such choices right now. Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?”

Because we are stronger together.

Three areas the president touched on stand out as opportunities for intergenerational solutions:

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