Monday, October 12, 2009

Boomers or Bust

I stumbled onto this column a couple of years ago by Mike S. Adams, at Professor Adams teaches criminology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, about four hours south of where I live, in Virginia Beach.

It's one of my favorite columns of all time. It's about the inflated sense of entitlement felt by many, if not most, in my generation (born in 1954, I'm sort of in the final wave of the "Baby Boomers").

As my buddy Ray from South Carolina tells me: "Insofar as parenting is concerned, the report card is in: our generation has earned an 'F'."

Our parents, I believe, taught us manners and rules. What they did not teach was why we ought to conform to them. I believe they understood why, but could not articulate the real issue.

The reason we have manners, and politeness, and rules, and so forth, is out of respect for other people. There. It's not complicated.

My generation grew up largely to believe that the conventions of our parents were "old-fashioned" and "phony". The media and the entertainment establishment flattered us into believing we were America's greatest generation, so much smarter and more idealistic than our parents. What did we do to deserve such accolades? Nothing. What did our parents do to deserve such insults? Nothing, except win a fight to the death against two horrible fascistic regimes and suffer through an agonizing twelve-year economic Depression, determined that we, their children, would not have to suffer as they did.

The result is we, the Boomers, grew up with the largest, most metastasized sense of entitlement of any generation in history. I've said it before, I'll say it again: the opposite of a sense of entitlement is gratitude. Christianity teaches that gratitude is the proper attitude of a Christian, who knows he deserves nothing but God's condemnation, but is saved by faith through grace.

But, flaws and all, my generation is the one now running things. The kids who used to say, "Never trust anyone over thirty," are now in their fifties and sixties.

I hope and pray, through some miracle of the Lord's, that our children turn out better than we did.

1 comment:

Glen said...

Thanks, I enjoyed the Adams column. Perhaps the boomers could be called the Greediest Generation. They've left my kids in a bit of lurch by killing off 1/3 of my kids' generation and then sticking them with an ever growing stack of bills for the boomers' entitlements; Obamacare, social security, prescription drugs, cap and trade, etc. If you were planning to retire on the back of the next generation, maybe it would have been smart to let more of them survive to adulthood!