The sixteen year-long phases of depression with one of the most devastating wars of human history created a huge socio-economic and demographic gap in American society. Once World War II ended in 1946 and the phase of economic depression started showing signs of revival, people were mentally and emotionally ready to rebuild and recreate. This phase of a spike in birth rate and demographic bulge it created is called as “baby boomer” period. According to sociologists, this phase continued until 1964 when the first round of 1946 born reached the aged of 18 years.
Baby Boomers, the best generation of all time
The new level of confidence in the economy and technological advancement led better life and opportunities helped build a mindset of taking the nation forward so that next-generation could get the best possible life free of pain and struggling past. The contribution of the baby boomers generation is so immense that the credit of current identity of the United States of America as the superpower, prosperity, land of opportunity and dream goes to them. Perfect upbringing by the war-affected and depression-fighting parents who were very conscious about optimum resource utilization and saving created a huge pool of the baby boomer generation of visionary, competitive, individualistic workforce with a strong sense of democratic values and most importantly the passion of the American Dream. In the next 20-30 years, they totally revolutionized not just the work-culture with a team driven leadership idea but socio-political landscape also. As the economy started shifting from manufacturing to servicing industry, these mindsets brought huge economic dividend in terms of innovation and competitive edge.
The risk-taking mind-frame helped baby boomer workforce to pass through the 1970-80s phase of transition when heavy reorganization, mergers, and downsizing was common phenomena. The hardworking and solution-oriented approach helped them focus on technology-driven innovative approach to streamlining not just business operations but socio-cultural reformations.
Baby boomers are now in the age band of 70s and 50s and in next 5 years, almost all will be in retired age group. Unfortunately, some experts are of the view that this retired population will be a burden on resources and impact the current generation. In the political sphere, this generation already is giving presidents starting from Bill Clinton to G. W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump.
This generation is in its prime with hope in eyes to see the glorious nation flourish with its value system. The way they shaped the nation in such a short span of time when other nations failed to create anything substantial for their citizens, definitely deserves respect from the current generation.
Baby Boomers Contribution
According to census department estimates, America currently has 74 million baby boomers, meaning almost 25% of the overall population of the country. They have made a huge contribution to the making of today’s America. To measure contribution, wearing today’s hyper transparent lenses with filters of contemporary biases would be an injustice to millions of people who created this society of dreamers and achievers. Nothing is perfect as perfection itself is a relative context and meaning changes with time. Let us explore the contributions made and its impact on current society;
- Unfelt Challenges
You are right in your own context, but you haven’t endured the pain of starting from zero posts WWII, economic depression than to be in the middle of the Vietnam War and the cold war. It is this generation of baby boomer that kept you away from the large scale nuclear war through a meticulous strategy of check and balance. Since you have the luxury super safe nation you can enjoy your freedom to protest for anything you want.
- Capital Punishment
You may not connect with it as you haven’t seen or felt the pain of seeing someone die on death chair. You must thank the baby boomer generation who abolished this heinous punishment method from the rule books of the civilized world.
- Shrinking Disease List
You don’t know about the plague, measles, smallpox, polio, whooping cough, kwashiorkor, etc. as you cannot see many people suffering from these diseases. You have some new in the list, but baby boomers deserve a big hand of applause for removal of these diseases from the lists of probable that use to kill hundreds every year not just in America but globally.
Baby boomer women defied the trend and adopted the simple and natural hairstyle. Since the need of the hour was to maximum utilization of resources, women forces jumped into action and freestyle became vogue. Of course, you have to thank millions of those women who fought this silent movement.
- Music Revolution
Just to name the few to hit the cord hard and vibrate your soul to recognize the contribution of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Beegees and the Beach Boys. These were the miracle of the music world, and that came from this generation of fighters.
You may not like it to link it with baby boomers, but it happened under the leadership of freedom-loving boomers in the last decade and booming now. You might not even feel the change it is making in the third world countries.
- Marriage But No Accountability
As said the modern lenses with filters will not help. If life is all about joy and happiness you have to find a way to accept the reality of marriage not just for you but for the future of your offspring. Baby boomers are all about stability and happiness of the family as a unit, and for that one needs to protect marriage. The ideological struggle for feminism, gay rights, abortion rights all are fine but find the balance.
- Power of Women
Your fight is for extra power, extra something, but all this began with the fight for the basic rights as simple as work. You have the right to work; now it is up to you to take the fight forward towards equal pay and other benefits. Oops, you don’t want to fight for your rights. Sad Indeed!
- Dying Communism
Ideological and academic survival apart, communism is finally dead globally and credit goes to baby boomers. The must thank them from saving the world from the atrocities of the communists’ regimes.
- Welfare vs. support
Support works on those who are willing to walk. Baby boomers were ready to walk and take the nation forward and the government of the day helped in building the ecosystem of support so that more could be achieved with the least possible resources. So, enjoy your statics of bullet count and death toll.
- Space and Beyond
Everything you know about space with proving is only because some baby boomer made it possible. You have every right to tell him or her circumstantial genius to make Voyager 1 a success, but it is open for you as well.
The so-called new weapon of power “the internet” is also because of the free spirit of baby boomers, who were conditioned to make life better in all possible senses. You write those few words somewhere and you become an overnight sensation and you don’t know the name of the baby boomer who wrote the first programming language.
- Beyond Black and White
Like it or hate it the sense of equality and democratic rights took the form of revolution in the era of baby boomers. The color divide started finding ways to fill the gap in this era. We shall overcome become we overcame happened only because of the free spirit to mingle and grow.
- Open Source
The power of computing you are realizing today happened because of the element of democratization brought in by baby boomers in the computing world. The change dynamics it created in removing the frames and fences from the advance technologies are shaping the contemporary world. You have to thank the baby boomers like Bill and Jobs to make it happen.
- No Mega War
World War II killed over 60 million people and thanks to the baby boomers there is no war since then of that scale. We have regional flashpoints, but those were smartly managed to go beyond controls.
- Max Activism
We have new challenges to face like global warming and we are fighting these challenges with the ingrained spirit finding a democratic solution acceptable to a global community. Socio-cultural issues also getting resolved by the same spirit.
- Fun and Entertainment
Everything you can count and correlate in fun and entertainment space is gift of baby boomers, whether it is Disney land or cinematographic brilliance of several directors, script writers, and producers.
- Glocal World
The world was never this harmonious in human history as is today. You can go anywhere without any hindrance and explore opportunities to a max of your potential. We all are dependent on each other in one sense or the other, but with full respect of sovereignty and freedom.
Count anything that you think is great today and you will find that it is possible only because of baby boomers. It is a fact that challenges are many and we should fight with the spirit of unity to solve it. Denying baby boomers the due credit and questioning their presence in terms of economic burden would complicate the situation as you time will also pass and the same rule of feasibility will on you as well. Salute the spirit of baby boomers and find a way to solve current challenges with same spirit.