Dining with my brother in a Taos, New Mexico, restaurant the other night, I reflected on various childhood experiences I shared with him. Close to the end of dinner, a man sitting next to us turned around. Through a great big grin, the seventy-year-old apologized for interrupting, but mentioned he couldn’t help overhear our conclusions made about the baby boom generation. He, too, had much to say about this generation.
His observations of boomers, their children, and the current generation of young people made me think. I’m wondering if other readers agree with what he said.
“You see, I’m able to see now how we’ve let our kids down. Kids of baby boomers? They have no idea what we sacrificed in order to give them the luxuries they have today. Period. And as their parents, it’s our fault for having done this. For some reason, we discontinued the traditions passed down to us and, as a result, our kids not only have no idea what we did for them, but what our forefather’s did. Baby boomer’s kids have no sense of past generation’s sacrifice, and that’s sad.”
This well-spoken gentleman, a native Montreal citizen, spoke highly of America.
“I’m proud to border the US. Too many people today have totally forgotten what America has done for the world. My wife and I visited Normandy once. Let me tell you, you should go. The graveyards there, with so many American soldiers who died (along with French, British and others). It’s incredible.”
Through the enthusiastic, wide smile that nearly reached the wild, curly hair about his ears, there was a sense of loss expressed in his voice. Then he turned it around.
“But what I see today with the newest generation of young people is re-engagement. I see much less taking for granted what they have, and it’s great to see that.”
So how is it, as the man suggested, baby boom parents – with all the advantages and standard of living improvements made during their time on Earth – raised kids without sufficient connection to tradition and knowledge of the sacrifice their forefathers made to build the prosperous America of today?