We Boomers have experienced a steep increase in negative public opinion about our generation over the past few years, a growing chorus to our terrible societal stewardship; we’re responsible for every conceivable ill from everyone’s bad marriage to the national debt.
As I mumbled to myself “…if I hear or read one more piece about how the world sucks and Boomers are to blame, I’ll (fill in with some sort of impure thought)” …. I stopped in my tracks… “Hey, are we to blame for all that’s gone wrong over the past 40 or so years?”
The answer, of course, is “sort of…” We have stumbled in the ways we’ve conducted ourselves as adults, as parents, as leaders.
But there’s a flip side to all the finger-pointing at our generation, that entails gleefully ignoring all that we accomplished to make life far easier for the following generations, things that are so taken for granted today that they go unnoticed, and vastly underappreciated. And it’s up to us to disabuse (verbiage by design) of this notion all who wish to believe we’re “the worst generation” – from the media to our own children.
Here’s just a few of our many accomplishments for my fellow Boomers to share freely when you encounter the rampant negativity that surrounds our generation, in an easy to use comment form!:
- “Hey, young folk…Find that you made a terrible mistake and married the wrong person (as have so many over the millennia)? You can get out of that bad marriage without a devastating stigma following you for the rest of your life….and for that, you can thank a Boomer…”
- “Young Ladies, are you experiencing very little if any discrimination in the workplace as you haul yourself up that corporate ladder, getting those promotions you know you deserve? Thank a Boomer!”
- “Hey, are you a person of color, or a single parent with kids, and not being turned away for that apartment you want to rent simply because of those characteristics? Thank a Boomer!”
- “Kids, notice how ultra careful our military and congressional leaders were to make sure we didn’t get mired in “another Vietnam” when we invaded Iraq/Afghanistan, a main motivator for ending our engagement in Iraq? Thank a Boomer.”
- “Oh, and everyone young and old, are you enjoying the freedom to live/be intimate with your lover without having to be married in order to avoid a terrible ‘scandal’? Yep…thank a Boomer.”
- “Speaking of having sex, everyone who’s engaging in it without the worry of an unwanted pregnancy really must stop and thank a Boomer!”
- “How about you young folk who are gay or lesbian; are you very much appreciating all the gains made so you no longer must live in fear? Say, ‘Thanks, Boomers!'”
- “Enjoy breathing in particularly major urban areas without sucking in LA-in-the-’70’s-type smog (it was so thick you could see it from one hundred miles away)? Fishing in rivers that are no longer so full of pollutants they’re on fire? Swimming in lakes or the ocean without fearing you’ll come out of the water with tar balls attached to your body? Find a Boomer and give ’em a big hug (thanks to our activism in the very early ’70’s, with protestors in greater numbers than those for the Vietnam war, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and Nixon created the EPA).”
These are the ones that pop immediately to mind. If you think of more, feel free to tack ‘em on!
Our generation has a track record of successfully changing something that isn’t right, if we believe in it strongly enough. It’s time we applied this ability to ourselves.
The perfect way to start our retirement.