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LETTERS

Generation to generation, hope runs smack into harsh realities

A graduate shielded his eyes from the sun as he took a break during Harvard’s commencement ceremony for the classes of 2020 and 2021 in May 2022.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Editorial cartoonist Sage Stossel’s reflections on her sense of the collegial atmosphere of her 1990s college experience sparked my own reminiscence (Ideas, Nov. 26). I graduated in 1975 with the belief that the various movements — civil rights, animal rights, women’s rights, environmental, and antiwar — that characterized the era heralded real change. With the arrogance and optimism of youth, I thought ancestral mistakes fueled the world’s agonies. Thank heavens, we would make things right.

But here we are in 2023 with hatreds exploding around the globe and millions accepting the poisonous venom of a vengeful, would-be dictator here in America, land of the free, brave, and tolerant, and I grieve. What is the self- and species-destructive flaw that sets us at each other’s throats once the traumatic experience of prior generations has dimmed in memory?

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Lea Sylvestro

Easton, Conn.