January 10, 2009

Approaching 40 and Making a Difference

Last night my friends Megan and Dallas joined me to see the film Milk. Hard to believe but up until now I didn't know the story of former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. Sean Penn's performance brought to life the local and national impact Milk had on Gay Rights and reminded me why San Francisco is such a special city.

The opening scene is the eve of Milk's 40th birthday. He reflects on his life and realizes he has an opportunity to make a change, to live "out loud". He takes the risk and within eight years has reached a seemingly unobtainable goal of being the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the US.

Ironically, prior to the film the three of us discussed turning 40. Dallas had his 40th birthday on New Year's Eve and mine is in March. We talked about how so many of our friends are turning 40 too. In fact nearly every day on Facebook I receive a 40th birthday notice from a friends around the globe. We've all got to be reflecting on the same questions... Where am I going and what have I done. When the film opened with this appropriate scene Dallas and I looked at each other in wonderment. An unexpected opportunity to reflect.

Harvey Milk makes a prediction on his 40th birthday that he will not live to see 50. Unfortunately this prediction comes to fruition when he is assassinated at 48. It certainly made me recognize that much can, or can not be accomplished as we ReGenXers move into our next decade. Time is short and we better get moving.