Mixed Messages

Ian Mitroff
2 min readJun 15, 2022


Winning and Losing Young People

I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. Please “follow” me to never miss an article.

While the nationwide protests of young people against gun violence are a clear and vigorous mark of hope, other signs are not as bright. Thus, in talking with an admittedly small and biased sample of young people in Berkeley, CA, I find that they are very down on this country, if not given up on it altogether.

Without subjecting them to my dour assessment regarding the awful state of things, I’ve asked them how they are feeling. In nearly every case, I heard essentially the same. “We’ve been lied to constantly about how good this country is. It’s strayed too far from its founding ideals. We’re through celebrating July 4th. If we could, we’d go to Canada or Australia, anywhere else where one doesn’t have to live in constant fear of being killed in a mass shooting.”

Only after they’ve shared their thoughts have I then chimed in. I confess that in my 84 years, I’ve never seen us so divided. I also live in perpetual fear of gun violence. I’m also appalled by the efforts to repeal Roe Vs. Wade and thus restrict women’s rights to safe abortions.

As the January 6th Hearings have finished their second day, I still can’t comprehend how so many people could have voted and continue to support a Pathological Narcissist and a Sociopath such as Donald Trump. While the Hearings will obviously not bring everyone to their senses, they are needed to set the historical record straight.

If I have any hope, it’s with the young people who are determined to keep fighting for sensible gun regulations. They deserve all the love and support we can give them.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash