Frequently I receive an e-mailed column titled “Boomer Babble,” written by “Baby Boomer” folks, who also have a program on WNAX. Often it’s funny, and sometimes introspective. Almost always, though, I can relate.
Baby Boomers are children born post-World War II; some give the years 1946-64. I think it’s stretching it a bit to go as far as 1964. I’m a bit pre-boomer, but close enough that I pretty much understand where they’re coming from.
Most of us “boomer-age” people were probably reared in similar households, with similar ethics. Some of us followed many of the same philosophies as our parents held, but we did go beyond…got college educations, moved away from our closer ties, tried a few new ideas, perhaps changed political parties or religious beliefs. But we pretty much kept the basic principles instilled in us.
There were also some who entirely jumped the traces and became the “Hippie Generation.” I could relate to some of their philosophies, too.
But, by and large, we were the Jaycees and the PTA members and the ones who had a little more money than our folks had, so we could spread our wings a bit further…be it by buying a camper or taking a trip to Canada or Mexico.
I liked that period of time; it was comfortable.
We’d made it through assassinations, and Vietnam and Watergate and trips to the moon…it made us stronger, we said.
I think my “discomfort” started maybe 25-30 years ago. When the kids got those things you could hook up to the TV and play games; when it became evident computers were going to become part of the work place; when they started having much more risqué programming on TV and in the movies; when “upward mobility” meant moving away from the things near and dear.
I’ve learned to use the computer, and rely on it in many ways. Doesn’t mean we have a love affair going. E-mail makes correspondence easier. It’s much simpler to look up data, place orders, etc. on the Internet.
Though I have a Facebook account, I spend little time there. My grandchildren have tried to show me the wonders of all the smart phones, iPads, etc. “Good for them,” I think. “Just keep the stuff away from me.”
It seems to me all the “instant this” and “instant that” somewhat erodes “real” relationships with people. And I surely don’t need 500 friends…most of whom I don’t know.
We made good friends over coffee, not over Facebook. We “talked”…really. A phone has never been “attached” to my ear as I walk or drive.
Surely, our predecessors also had great adjustments to make…to radios, air flight, autos, television and all the other modern wonders unheard of before. I think many back then were as flummoxed as I am today.
I know life doesn’t go backward. Some strides are wonderful, such as in medical science. But I still think we have a long haul in the area of meaningful people relationships.
I like the thought, “Let me grow lovely, growing old.” I do try to keep an open mind…and often a shut mouth. I seldom state my thoughts on the way of life today. I refuse to argue politics or religion, or the state of the world. I know what I feel; it isn’t worth arguing with someone about it, because generally you’ll never change a mind; you’ll just develop an ulcer.
But, I liked life better when it was simpler. Therefore, I, too, am a “babbler.” I’d love to be able to peek in some 50-60 years hence, and see what people are contending with at that time, and what the Babblers from that era are babbling about.
Baby boomers are turning gray and disgruntled