|Ron Baker and the '64 Chevy Impala, Sept, 1969, Akron, OH. (Please see below.)|
In the beginning, most of my Baby Boomer generation
colleagues started their careers following their hearts and making a
difference. Many of us did things like protesting the draft; protesting the war
working for equal rights for women; and civil rights for Black Americans.
I fulfilled my first career dream by working the early
morning shift as a newsman for a Cleveland
radio station. I was a newsman and that was important to me then.
Families happened next. My friends had to find employment in
the work-a-day world and create a stable home for their children. It was the
same for me, too. I married and we began to think about having a family. So I
gave up my low paying newsman dream job and headed back to Goodyear for a
couple of more dollars per month and more “job security”.
The ”family thing” took us in every direction, from working
for the “man” to starting our own businesses. Some of us continued on the
“making a better world” path, while others gave in, ending up just like most of
our parents, making a dollar doing a job so we could put bread on the table,
buying a home, a car, and sending the kids to college.
Don't get me wrong. Taking good care of your family, your
children, is making a difference — the most important difference. Still, we are
also called to an additional duty beyond our immediate families.
For me, it’s never been about money. However, I did spend 40
years of my life running my own business - helping others reach their dreams. For
most of them, that translated into making some bucks – for few a lot of money.
I actually helped five become multimillionaires and whole slew of others, in
various industries, make millions more for their corporations.
Fast forward to today…you might even share my story.
The work was not fulfilling; the companies went “global”;
and the jobs evaporated. Basically, the "powers that be" changed the
game on us when we weren’t paying attention. We trusted those in power to be
honest and look out for the best interests of the nation. They didn't and we
For that naivety we have already paid a heavy price.
So, what now?
How about retirement and a favorable climate somewhere else
That may be a good choice for some perhaps; but not for me.
I hate doing nothing, sitting around watching TV, trying to play cards, or looking
for fish. Additionally, I don't see myself becoming an appetizer for Captain Hook's nemesis in some Floridian swamp. Florida and similar places our therefore out of the question.
No. For me, it’s back to “making a difference”.
This time around I’m going to try to do things differently
by avoiding reliving my teens and starting one more time in a dead end job
working nights at the local hospital, laying up asbestos cement in the boilers
at the rubber company, or trying to be a clone of Walter Cronkite.
No, this time I am seeking to make a difference in my own
way. I want to use my 66 years of job and life experience to advantage while
putting a few bucks back into my new account at the local credit union. (No
more big banks for me!)
I’ve decided to save the world.
After you stop laughing, you might ask: Just how do you
propose to do that?
Well, “how” is the subject of a future story. In the meantime take a look here:
By the way, history shows that only the most impractical dreams change
“Social change is seldom either as incremental or
predictable as many insiders suggest. Every once in a while, an outburst of
resistance seems to break open a world of possibility, creating unforeseen
opportunities for transformation. Indeed, according to that leading theorist of
disruptive power, Frances Fox Piven, the “great moments of equalizing reform in
American political history” -- securing labor rights, expanding the vote, or creating
a social safety net -- have been directly related to surges of widespread
“Unlike elected officials who preoccupy themselves with
policies considered practical and attainable within the political climate of
the moment, social movements change the political weather. They turn issues and
demands considered both unrealistic and politically inconvenient into matters
that can no longer be ignored; they succeed, that is, by championing the
*Ron Baker and the '64 Chevy
Impala, Sept, 1969, Akron, OH. I worked nights, weekends, overtime and
holidays for that car at Akron
and Goodyear. Later, it was stolen twice from the University of Akron
student parking lot while I worked for free at the University radio station,
WAUP. The good news? Well, Akron PD (many officers were my high school friends)
got it back each time — minus my brand new Goodyear tires. How do you manage to
lose eight new tires in a few months? I did!