Baby Boomers Vs. Millennials. Why Can’t We Learn to Get along?
Boomers are coming of that age and retiring. We went to college, or not, and worked to raise our families, save money, and enjoy our vacations and weekends.
We planned, and we rolled up our sleeves. Now some of us are at a point where we can leave the working world behind and enjoy the time we have left.
Millennials are just beginning their trek into working society, finding their way, and realizing their struggles, as individuals and as a group. And yes, they have many.
Millennials have years to go before they retire. For many, college did not lead to the path of gainful employment. They have loans and cannot afford to buy homes. They rent with their friends or move back home out of necessity.
Boomers call them lazy and spoiled.
Millenials accuse boomers of living off the success of the “greatest generation” and ruining the economy.
They were great and without them, we’d probably all be speaking German.
Like any group of people, not all boomers or millennials are created equal. Putting all individuals of one generation into a category and homogenizing them is the same as putting members of different races into a group and saying they are all the same.
And then making sweeping statements about them.
It’s just ridiculous.
My take on it is that both generations are right. And both are wrong.
Millennials are where it’s at
Boomers are right. There is a group of millennials that are the spoiled, entitled brats we claim they are. But the thing is, not all of them fall into that category. And personally, I don’t know many.
In fact, over the past year, I have come to know and respect many millennials. I’ve worked with several, even had one as a boss, and they were anything but lazy and entitled. They are working hard to find their way in this world and live their dreams.
They are also coming to grips with an over-inflated housing market and the fact that their college degrees didn’t pave the road to a rewarding career.
I’ve met several on Medium, and I love their writing, reading about their lives and why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Tom Kuegler was my first teacher into the world of all that is Medium. He quit several day jobs, started writing, and is now a vlogger who continues to travel the world and meet people.
This is where we boomers should be getting a little jealous and coming to grips with our lapse in judgment. These kids are making a living at jobs they love, putting themselves out there on a limb, and frankly living what I, as a boomer, consider a dream.
Can you imagine getting paid to travel the world and talk to people?
They will never need to retire because they’re doing what they love. And they’re doing it while they have their youth and the freedom of that youth.
I’m starting to do what I love, but I’ve been miserable in my office job for years. They never will be. They will be happier overall, and these happy people will take the reigns someday and make this world a happier place.
It will be tough, but they can do it. Millennials have already created a new world order in terms of employment.
I am grateful my grandchildren can look forward to living in this world.
Boomers have been there, done that
Just as I don’t know many entitled millennials, I don’t personally know many boomers who have ruined the economy and cast harsh judgment upon millennials.
I do know some, and I will get to that.
We boomers have worked hard to earn our retirement, and we’ve done a lot throughout the years.
Remember, we had to grow up in the 1950s in the days of Ozzie and Harriet, where mom’s role was as a housewife and dad’s was as the provider. And never the twain shall meet. It wasn’t questioned; none of the norms were.
But we blew-up those norms in the 1960s. We not only questioned them, but we also rebelled. And when the pieces settled back down, we reconstructed society.
I’m not going to brag on Vietnam. Protestors stopped the war but treated our vets like shit. I am digressing a bit here, but I can’t ignore it.
Okay, back to what I was saying.
Need I mention women’s rights, civil rights, birth control, and a slew of others? Hell, we even ushered in the age of rock n’ roll.
So take that.
And our parents had the same attitude toward us that many of us have toward millennials. But boomers stuck it out and didn’t give up.
In all fairness, I do know of a sect in the boomer generation who has it all and thinks they always should, and nothing should change. These are the ones who want to keep 90 percent of the pie for themselves. Everyone else can do what they want with the other 10 percent.
Keep in mind; the other 10 percent are not their fellow boomers who didn’t fare as well as them. It’s everyone else. They are a group apart.
To say boomers made the world a place that’s difficult for you is wrong. No, we haven’t made the world easy, but the world is a tough place. Always has been, always will be.
We’ve laid a lot of the foundation for millennials to implement the changes they’ve made.
We made big changes. Now it’s your turn.
Bridging the Gap
We’ve both got a lot to teach one another.
Millennials are showing us we can live life to its fullest and bring that adage, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work,” to life. They say we eradicated the conventional path to success, and they have no choice, and that circumstances force them.
These circumstances have made many of you the entrepreneurs you’ve become. Several are only in their 20s. Wow! So you’ve had to struggle. Welcome to life.
Boomers show that hard work pays off, that by uniting and speaking out, you can bring about the changes you advocate for. The legislative process does work.
We were a force that injected our independent ways on to society.
Thank us for forcing you to struggle. Look at what you’ve achieved. It’s more than the majority of us will do in our lifetimes. You’re an example for future generations.
Boomers show that hard work pays off, that by uniting and protesting you can bring about the changes you advocate for. The legislative process does work.
Millennials, by their actions, are forcing boomers to consider how we can live more authentic lives.
We were the first to force our independent ways on to society.
We’ve already learned a lot more than either is willing to admit.
Power to both of us.
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