The next day was tomorrow.
That phrase came up recently in a conversation with some baby boomers, and all parties who witnessed/heard it are still trying to figure out what was meant by it.
Which brings us to a discussion regarding the impact of baby boomers. Sure, it’s a leap, but bear with me. Now that we are chugging along into old age at a pretty good clip, it’s a great time to decide if we really were lucky to grow up as baby boomers.
Loads of cultural touchstones surely made it worth it. The TV shows, Saturday morning cartoons and westerns, playing outdoors all day, the fantastic music, hippies, and it was all capped off with Woodstock.
On the flip side however, the duck and cover exercises in school, the JFK, MLK, RFK assassinations, and the war in Vietnam were a reality check on our optimism that everything was going to turn out all right.
It’s been said that we are now in Act III and an easy target for millennials and Gen Xers who, right or wrong, think boomers have screwed up everything. For them, the sooner we get off the stage the better. But let’s not forget some of our contributions for the greater good. We did start a peace movement to end a war, created some phenomenal music that’s still revered by all generations, invented the computer, created the internet, and started the green movement to help clean up our planet. Plus, it’s a little known fact, but baby boomers donated more money to worthy causes than any generation before, and maybe since.
The faults are real but some of the good things are just a matter of opportune timing. We came of age at a time of prosperity and few economic downturns. The market went up and so did real estate values. Did boomers reap the benefits? Yep, and many of us (but not all) are still reaping the benefits. It may be hard for some to accept, but some animosity toward boomers is ordinary and unacceptable ageism, a topic for another day.
I’m aligned with those who think that boomers still have an important contribution to make, and that our social activism may have ebbed somewhat, but we can still be a force for good. Time will tell, because the next day is tomorrow.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. You can also visit his author page here. His newest mystery novel, Rio Puerco Demise is available on Amazon. His first mystery novel, Head Above Water, is also available on Amazon. But that’s not all. You can also purchase the Best of BoomSpeak on Amazon.