Thursday, September 14, 2006

To: The Baby Boomers From: X and Y

I recently got into a very short, peripheral conversation with my mom about how “my generation” needs to “do” something about what is going on in the world today. She wasn’t being negative or anything like that; she was simply wondering why people my age aren’t protesting what is happening in politics and world events. Basically implying that her generation made their statements in their era. Whether that was in the form of protesting against Vietnam, advancing the sexual revolution, and Woodstock types of celebrations. I guess that was how they dealt with the calamities of the world at the time.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with what they did. That time in our country’s history was full of turmoil, ie. Civil rights, women’s liberation, abortion, Vietnam, political assassinations…it was a crazy time as I’m sure most of you are aware.

So back to the question, “Why doesn’t ‘My Generation’ (be it X or Y or what ever it is called) DO something about what is happening today? Why don’t we rally? Why don’t we raise our voices against what is happening? Why don’t we DO something?

I only have this as an answer: We don’t want to get involved.

It was our grandparents that created you, the “Baby Boomers.” They fought in The War and then replenished the world. They lived through the depression, mass poverty, World Wars. They were safe and conservative and scared. They built The Bomb. It was about protection…domination.

Your generation revolted against the “Golden Generation”, changed society, made life more “free.” ‘I’ll do what I want, when I want, how I want. It’s my body!’ You saw the lives your parents lived and decided that it wasn’t good enough for you. You wanted more of everything. Capitalism was your rocket ship; greed and avarice the potent fuel. Blast off!

You begat us and didn’t know what to do with us. So you called us “X” and “Y.” The fact that we were born was something of a miracle really. How could such a selfish, aspiring generation have time to raise a family? You didn’t.

A lot of you couldn’t do what your parents did and stay married, couldn’t commit and be devout. You wanted to be independent, so you either split up or you both worked. We grew up in broken homes; hearing you complain because you feel like you have to visit your parents or how inconvenienced you are that they are coming to stay with you for a few days. You put them in home so this wouldn’t happen! All the while we were growing up by ourselves…with 2 TVs and Nintendo.

We grew up watching TV programs you made for us. We were corrupted by the need to have a Cabbage Patch Kid; you made us into Super Models, Pop Icons, put us on MTV and sold us so you could make more money. TV shows aren’t made for our entertainment; they are made so you guys can sell advertising space. We grew up in a world full of capitalist aggression. More! Better! Stronger! Faster! NOW! We watched you build your corporate empires.

Now here we are…Generations X and Y…waiting, watching. What did you expect us to become? We didn’t have much to work with. We really just don’t want to get involved.

One day we will rise from obscurity and make a name for ourselves. No longer just an “X” to identify us.

8 comments:

Krista said...

Really interesting point of view and nicely written... i like it. And why did they just call us "X" or "Y" or whatever? It sounds like an experiment. This is really thought provoking.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute...of whom do you address in this epitaph? Certainly not me or your father. We are guilty of none of the above. You may be speaking of your friend's families? Your friend's families outside of your faith community? Did you just pass the buck?
ym

brittany said...

oooo, sounds like you got mom a little riled up, but I think you've got some mighty good points here. Not specifically geared toward our parents, of course, but in generalities, I think you've hit the nail. I definately have those feelings, but I never could put words to them. What can we do at this point? It's all so complicated and messed up, and the generation before us made it pretty hard to stand up for your rights when your rights have been pushed too far already--so that most people think it's thier right to be able to do whatever they want without natural consequences. Where do you go from there?

Brooke Sampson said...

I can answer mom's question of why isn't our generation doing anything in one word: distraction. Why would we do anything that doesn't appeal to us when there are so many things that do. (I'm going to be making alot of generalization aimed at noone, just at our society, so noone needs to worry that I am talking about them.) ipods, TiVo, video games with half dressed women, killing, blood and swears. Magazines, internet, email, Hollywood, music, internet porn, magazine porn, tv porn, the real live flesh porn walking down the aisle at the grocery store in front of my 8 year old son. Wrinkle creams, plastic surgery, the gym, stylish clothing, stylish home decor, gaining wealth and living the American dream. Is there any other generation that has had so many people under the age of 30 in $million + homes and cadallacs? Other distractions might include all the choices we have: have babies? morning after pill is over the counter? Women all over the world are CEO's? Why think about anything serious when there are so many more interesting things to occupy us? We are distracted. Joseph Smith called the people of the latter days "sleeping giants." We've got something great in us, but we are sleeping. And the adversary is laughing. There will be consequences. One really big one that comes to mind the the end of the world. There's my 2 cents.

Kara said...

OK, I have been thinking about this a little bit and I can't not comment...what kind of a sister would I be.

I believe that part of the problem must be that we are a faithless society. My head is still fuzzy from my sinus infection so I can't go into detail. But I promise, it was totally legit.

Abby said...

I had a similar conversation recently, and it scares the CRAP out of me to raise kids in this world...BUT maybe that's our contribution and responsibility: our kids. Day-to-day I don't feel as compelled to protest as I do to just stand with my feet firmly planted and not get "distracted."

Abby said...

That is not to say that the baby boomers did not contribute in the way of raising their children, p.s. I think we are complacent, but I don't blame them. It is human to want better for your kids than you had, even if the outcome has some unexpected consequences. In addition, I must add a big thank you to "the protesting generation" bc thanks to them, I don't have to fight for equal rights as a woman, etc.

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