with author Rodney Strange
The other night I was cruising around Twitter looking for folks who might share some common interests with me and ran a search for #babyboomers. Whoa, was I shocked to discover that, fellow baby boomers, WE are the enemy! Not one baby boomer did I discover, but rather what appears to be an all-out preparation to go to battle with US! I was disturbed, to say the least at the revelation that WE are to blame for everything that is wrong in America. I have spent considerable time researching this since that discovery...and there are indeed some points to ponder.
First, I must make it clear that I personally fall at the very end of the Baby Boomer generation, in fact, my outlook on life tends to fall in line with the Generation X'ers, which first began to make their appearance in the sixties. As you can see, I land right in the middle of all this. Let's get on to our Millennials.
In an issue of Time Magazine I discovered at the doctor's office, author Josh Sanburn describes Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) as narcissistic, lazy, coddled, and even delusional, and he cites a decade of research to back it up. After spinning a considerable amount of negative backwash about the people who will one day rule the world, he wraps up with the conclusion that their self-centeredness, overconfidence, and optimism is a result of adaptation to a rapidly changing world.
Now here's what I think. I think it is our fault...we, the baby boomer generation did this to our kids. We did coddle them, hovering over them like she-wolves over their suckling cubs, ready to pounce on the first thing that made a move. We showed them what we had accomplished with our half million dollar homes with three brand new SUVs in the drive. We spoiled them with worldly treasures their entire lives. We told them they HAD to get a college degree and in fact, could do so with readily available student loans. We painted this rosy picture of what life would be like for them in the twenty-first century, then like mama birds, gently shoved them from the nest...and the world came crashing down around them. Those degrees earned with borrowed money can no longer land them a job. They are still living in the bird's nest, sleeping in the very beds they wet as toddlers. The future is bleak and sure to become even more so when the effects of tens of thousands of dollars in student loans will haunt them until their dying day. Our children, educated to the max, aren't stupid people. They see no bright future...and so they have taken on the role of survivor. Yes, they think they are entitled to a better life, and by gosh it has become every man for himself to scratch out some facsimile of the life their parents have lived.
We the baby boomers saw that the sky was the limit. We could achieve anything our hearts desired. Dad worked all hours of the day and night to achieve success, and when we wanted more, Mom went to work, leaving our Millennials to fend for themselves. We missed their ball games, piano recitals, and school functions. To compensate, we bought them stuff...TV's, iPods, Nintendos, X-boxes, and Wii's. We gave them phones so we could parent them from the other end of the line. We, the baby boomers amassed great fortunes which we spent on our turnkey children who raised themselves like abandoned bear cubs. Then we turned them out into the wild, wicked world and told them, "You too can do this." We lied to them. It's no wonder they are who they are.
We have failed our children in more ways than one. In our frenzy to have more than the guy next door, we sacrificed what is important. We gave our kids more 'stuff' than they could ever use up, but we failed to give them the love and nurturing we as parents are bound as parents to give. We also failed to deliver the most important necessity of all, we failed to give them a spiritual education.
The very beliefs our parents instilled in us...we were too busy to pass along to our kids. We worked long and hard all week. Sunday was just another day. We didn't take our children to church. We were just too tired to tuck them into bed and listen to their bedtime prayers. There was no organized suppertime, therefore no blessing before the meal. It's no wonder our children's beliefs tend to swing to the extreme.
I personally find the younger generation full of love and hope and determination...determination not to make the same mistakes we did. Millennials, I love ya...and I really do get it! Put me in the GOOD rest home when the time comes!