Reflecting on the baby boomer legacy

I’m 53, not a boomer, but in many situations surrounded by those of that generation.

I attend a Sunday school class made up of mostly boomers. I enjoy their insights and wisdom. I currently work with and have worked with numerous boomers that have helped shape who I am. Their contributions to all aspects of our life today are too numerous to mention and we should reflect on those with thankfulness and humility.

Recently the divides that have been made so apparent in our society have caused me to reflect more deeply on all those accomplishments attributed to that most proud group.

Let’s first reflect on an always controversial topic, abortion. Most if not all of the boomers I respect are on the same side of this topic. During the boomers’ reign in this country, physicians have perfected and adapted this process. Uncounted boomers have earned the riches they possess through this controversial procedure and the related health industries that surround it. Many stand on the side of the street with signs protesting its legality and condemning those who have its weight upon their conscience, many times seeing it as the only option.

Most if not all of those protesters would without thought turn away or call the police on any newly pregnant, poverty stricken, drug addicted young mother who knocked on the door of their secure, overstocked homes.

Reflect on the harm through pollution, C8, fly ash, oil spills as just a few examples, boomers have left for the coming generations. Reflect on the race and immigration issues that so divide our population now. These issues were allowed to fester and escalate under the boomers’ watch.

Greed, increased poverty, growing class division, corporate farming, opioid epidemic, homelessness, outrageous, increasing medical costs, are all also part of the boomer legacy.

I am in no way advocate holding my father’s generation singly accountable for the nation’s woes. I do get fed up with the hypocrisy displayed by the boasting of this one group in history. I struggle to accept the condemnation voiced by those in that group who doubt current and future generations.

Look what you left them to deal with. Those young folks you cast shadows of doubt over will cure cancer, Aids, diabetes. They will solve our worrisome dependence on diminishing fossil fuel supplies. They will clean up the poisoning of our environment, they will create a lasting peace, and an environment of acceptance and liberty for all, ALL, not just those that look or believe like them.

Those should be our hopes and expectations. Help them along, listen to their opinions, share what you’ve learned and be open minded to the change they will bring.

To mentor is not to create a duplicate of yourself but to combine your experience, reflect on your mistakes and listen to the innovation youth offers.

Bernard Bookman



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