“Baby Boomers vs. Millennials?”: Pitting us Against Each Other

It’s everywhere on the ‘net: what do Boomers have against Millennials? In fact, most research shows that there are more similarities, feelings of affection and even sympathy for the troubles of Millennials. If there were some things to complain about, Boomers would have plenty, at least now, as they face old age. Yet I would say that Boomers and Millennials share many of these complaints. Who has it worse? You decide.

My guess is that both generations won’t have the average life span that their parents did. They were the first one to be exposed from birth (after 1945) to radioactivity in almost all parts of the earth (atmosphere, water, ground) and thus, more susceptible to cancers, especially. This is due mostly to above-ground nuclear testing,

I already know several Boomers, aged 50–70, who have died earlier than they “should” have, based on estimates of longevity. For every one of them like Keith Richards, who seems unstoppable, there will be thousands more who won’t meet the expected life span but will succumb to cancers, heart disease and as global warming continues, infection by microbes spread by animals like mosquitoes, rodents and others who formerly lived only in the tropics or subtropics.

Also, antibiotic-resistant diseases keep cropping up that will finish off Boomers as well as those in other age groups.

Why don’t Baby Boomers care about Millennials”?

People who ask that are confusing SOME boomers—specifically the 1%, the very wealthy, usually Republican, and maybe their parents—with all boomers. As one of the latter, and a lifelong activist, also the parent of a Millennial, I care very much what will happen to them, but I have very little political power because I’m not wealthy. I’m tired of protesting (been doing it since I was 14!) and frankly, they don’t care (the Powers That Be) what we do. Even the power of the vote is gone; look at how many votes Hillary got and yet Trump is president.

It’s up to Millennials to be their own advocates, the activists now. But they may need to take more extreme measures, such as hassling their elected officials (going on NOW, as Congressmen take yet another break–didn’t they just take one?!) and boycotting large corporations. Get angry…but not at Boomers. More to the point, get angry at the right ones and do something.

Here are some interesting questions from Quora:

Have your ever felt outsmarted by your juniors ? Have you ever oversmarted any senior

Has there been any instance in your life when somebody didn’t understand you because of age difference?

Of course I’ve felt that someone didn’t understand me due to the values of their age group: namely my parents and some teachers in high school. Since I didn’t have any money or legal power, I felt oppressed by their attitudes, which I saw as provincial. There were lots of loud, angry arguments at home, which didn’t help our relationships. I’d say that was pretty common for the Boomers vs. “the Greatest Generation”. Some call them the “Silent Generation” but my parents were anything but silent. I suppose it was easy to confuse the folks with their whole generation…but if I did a survey, I bet that would be accurate.

As for being outsmarted or outsmarting, I’d say I knew more about politics and society than my parents, and early on, than our son. Later, the kid outsmarted me by hooking up our DSL connection while I took a nap! He was 11. Now he has more access to news because he can use  a smart phone (I can’t see the screen).  He updates me and then I research analyze things on my laptop and update him. It works out well and usually with no adversarial stuff.

Why are Millennials perceived as lazy?

From what I’ve observed, both Millennials and Boomers took longer to get into “work mode” than the Gen X-ers or, don’t forget, the “Greatest Generation”. Millennials and Boomers tend to be more informed about society and politics and prone to wanting fun to last longer—even if the definition of fun differs greatly.

Once they do or did begin working, I don’t think either Millennials or Boomers have worked less hard. I fail to see any fault in that. The common myth that work is a virtue or that it’s “everything” is idiotic. Why? It only serves those in power, except for the few rewards thrown to the workers–the toys, clothes, cars, vacations–all are meaningless and ephemeral. Boomers and Millennials, unlike other generations, “get” this. If they do crave “stuff”, isn’t that little enough reward for work that is itself ephemeral and unrewarding in deeper ways?

The two generations also seem to choose less visible careers, such as human resources and social services. Sadly, many Millennials who didn’t go into jobs like engineering or IT are left with low-paying jobs …that is, if those aren’t occupied by Boomers who were laid off after their companies got outsourced. They don’t do it out of choice but necessity. The human services jobs are fewer and usually not well-paid or secure.

I think both generations got shafted and will continue to be, the way our government is going, coddling the super-rich more and handing them almost all the keys to the kingdom. The rest of us are left out in the cold and we are all in it together. We just need to stop pointing the finger at one another and instead, cast blame where it really lies: at the top.

As for political action, I would repeat Elliot Alderson/Mr. Robot’s question: Are you a one or a zero? If you’ve watched the show, you know what the answer “One” means!

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