Guest Post by Julie Gorges
Editor's Note: My colleague Julie Gorges writes Baby Boomer Bliss, a blog I highly recommend. She recently posted an article that referred to "5 positive traits of boomers." At a time when there seems to be a fair amount of boomer bashing in various media, I asked Julie for permission to share an excerpt from her article because I think it does a great job of highlighting some of the really good things about the Boomer Generation. Here they are...
1. Boomers are Good at Reinventing Themselves
Not being content to sit in a rocking chair reminiscing about the past after retirement – like some of our parents and grandparents – many boomers are still active, eagerly learning new things, and becoming more creative as they age.
Boomers may not be up on all the latest trends, but they remain young at heart.
Boomers tend to consider themselves a work in progress. Many are making spirituality and personal growth a priority, opening themselves to new experiences (like learning sign language and shark cage diving, in my case), and striving to reach their full potential.
Thanks to boomers, turning 60 or even 70 is no longer a professional death sentence as it was in the past. Many boomers are postponing retirement, both for financial and personal reasons. This has opened the doors for younger generations who, if desired, have a better chance of working as long as they want.
Often boomers are maligned for being technically deficient. However, many boomers have embraced new technologies like texting, videoconferencing, online banking, tablets, tech savvy homes, and social networking sites. A lot has changed, but boomers are enthusiastic about technology that’s valuable to them.
In my opinion, we’ve changed the way people age. And that’s a good thing for upcoming generations.
2. Boomers Value Family Relationships
Personally, I grew up in a traditional family that ate dinner together every night, watched The Wonderful World of Disney every week, attended religious services, and took camping trips together.
As a result, I practiced these same values with my own children and grandchildren. As a reward, we all remain close.
Just proves different generations can get along and even love each other!
3. Boomers Influenced Rock and Roll
As the article, “27 Amazing Things Baby Boomers Have Done for Humanity” points out on their website Mercatornet, the boomer generation changed music forever. “Popular music will never be the same after the 70s. These musicians [Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, and the Bee Gees] passed on an undying legacy with their lyrics, experimentation and harmonies.”
Of course, the 60s also changed music in a major way, becoming a vehicle for social change.
Brian Ward, a professor in American Studies at Northumbria University wrote in his article for the Gilder Lehrman Institude of Natural History, “What’s That Sound? Teaching the 1960s Through Popular Music: “Even students far too young to have experienced the decade first-hand often recognize a whole range of sounds as evocative of the era. The Motown soul of the Temptations and Marvin Gaye; the folk revivalism of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez; the folk-rock syntheses of the Byrds; the surfing sounds of the Beach Boys; the free jazz of Archie Shepp and Ornette Coleman; the girl-group sounds of the Chiffons and Crystals; the southern-fried soul of Percy Sledge and Otis Redding; the lush Nashville countrypolitanism of Eddy Arnold and Tammy Wynette; the country-rock blends of the Flying Burrito Brothers; the progressive, psychedelic sounds of the Grateful Dead and the Doors; the self-reflective meditations of singer-songwriters James Taylor and Laura Nyro; the daring blues-rock-jazz blend of Jimi Hendrix; the pioneering funk of James Brown; the garage rock of the Standells and Seeds; and the avant-garde noisescapes of Captain Beefheart and the Velvet Underground.”
I would add The Rolling Stones, Queen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Elton John, and Simon and Garfunkel to the list of classic rock singers and bands that influenced music forever.
Many younger people still listen to these musicians today.
4. Boomers Tend to Work Hard
Boomers typically do not shy away from hard work. Most boomers grew up in well-structured and disciplined households. Boomers were taught to respect their parents and grandparents and do their chores. As a rule, boomers are self-disciplined, highly motivated, and focused on goals in life.
You would think that’s a good thing. But these qualities are often used against us. Boomers are called “workaholics” and a “greedy generation,” perceived as always putting money first. However, growing up in a spiritual family, these were not the values I was personally taught. I’d venture many boomers would say the same.
5. Boomers Want to Give Back
Now, can we talk a little about the blame game? Boomers are seemingly responsible for all that’s gone wrong in the world. In part, due to the size of their generation. By the way, is it my fault that my parents’ generation had a bunch of kids making the population “boom?” (The basis for the name of our generation, baby boomers.)
Good thing we weren’t around for the Great Depression. Somehow, that would be our fault too.
At any rate, baby boomer blaming seems like a way of oversimplifying extremely complex issues.
Although I do not feel personally responsible for every problem in the world today, I do understand the younger generation’s frustrations. For example, many boomers know how difficult it is for younger people who face challenging economic conditions today.
As a result, many parents have been generous with adult children who often need to live at home longer than expected. Some help their children financially even to their own detriment. And many grandparents are helping care for their grandchildren to help adult children save on child care costs.
In addition, boomers tend to look for a mission in life that offers meaning and purpose. Many of us are involved in volunteer work and our community.
Julie Gorges is a blogger, writer and author of non-fiction and fiction books. Check out her blog at https://babyboomerbliss.net
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