Baby boomers are going after us: they’re calling us lazy, entitled and narcissist. Articles are being written on us stating that we are unprepared for the work place, we have big dreams but lack the means to achieve them and we don’t have much chance of building a legacy through our current hook up culture. So, to those boomers who throw rocks at us from the comfort of their castle and their 401k plan: we’ve been watching you. Ever since we were little children, everything you did was recorded in our brain, and although you always told us “we’d understand when we’d be older” whenever we questioned you, we still think you’re wrong now. Here’s why.
You showed us greed
You had already taken the first steps towards making this world a self-centered, individualistic place when you decided your goal in life would be to accumulate wealth and spend it. You dreamt about your frugal retirement of exotic traveling, fine wine, exquisite cuisine, extra beach house and other latest superfluous technological gadgets and jewelry. You have chosen comfort, luxury and instant gratification over deeper meaning, fulfillment and life achievements. Instead of being preoccupied by longevity and the transmission of successful values to the next generation, you used the sudden economic growth coming from the efforts of our ancestors for your own empty personal gain and pleasures.
You showed us that respect isn’t important anymore
When we were growing up, you tried to teach us what you didn’t apply to your own life. As parents, you told us to be nice to our little sister, to share with our friends and to not insult people, but a lot of you were not respecting your own spouse and wouldn’t share the smallest things with their own neighbors. With a phony air of disbelief, “Do as I say, not as I do” became your motto, as you had already distanced yourself from these values and decided to go towards a more selfish direction.
You told us to respect our elders. But there was something weird with the way with which you handled death, by being more and more distant from funerals and by putting your own aging parents in nursing homes, something unfathomable in the eyes of other cultures around the world. As kids, we were not able to seep through your rationalizations, but now we can. In addition to not being too grateful to your parents, you’re scared of death to the point it paralyzes you and makes you unable to live your life fully, preventing you from reaching your full potential.
You taught us to be lazy
When we were home playing video games, you told us to put down the controller and go play outside, but you were expressing this message while you were watching TV on your couch, chips and coke in your hands, flipping channels every 3 seconds. Your lifestyle was doing a 9 to 5, go home and sit. You didn’t spend that much time walking outside to enjoy the beautiful parks around the block, playing with the dogs or doing sports.
You are the one who showed us how to be complacent with food, by getting out of shape yourself and by beating yourself every day about it instead of taking actions to change it. You failed to teach us self-control, sometimes by indulging into it yourself, sometimes by not having the courage and tenacity to stop us from eating crap.
You started hook up culture in the 70s
When we were teens, you thought we would not care for your inability to explain to us how sex and relationships worked, something that any adult shouldn’t be afraid to do. You were not displaying the usual discomfort that every normal human feels when they talk about sensitive matters, but rather an awkward abnormal feeling. It was related to your shame of being a hack for spouting platitudes that you didn’t believe in and didn’t apply yourself. In fact, a lot of you felt like actors because your sex life of once every three months escapades that lasted 30 seconds in the bedroom was unfulfilling. Embarrassed and ashamed, you started to demand the school system to do your job instead, conveniently avoiding your responsibility.
As for those who went the complete other way with total sexual liberation, you deemphasized other important aspects of relationships like commitment and faithfulness. While there is nothing wrong with having a lot of action, you started turning dating into an unfulfilling, pleasure seeking act that lacks deep connection or meaning. Your experiments have left us with no direction and forced us to reinvent the wheel, figuring out human nature on our own by going through many trials and errors, sometimes at great emotional and financial cost.
You spoiled us and made us entitled
A lot of us had divorced boomers at our helm or couples who constantly fought with each other, giving us contradicting instructions on life, sometimes even including us in their fights and using us to hurt one another. Yet you placed high expectations on us, sometimes unreasonable, without teaching us how to reach them. Instead of giving us a good balance of love, patience and discipline, you cowardly avoided your responsibilities by telling us we were very special. You caved to our excessive demands instead of standing up to us like you should have, because you were afraid we might not love you anymore. You bought us useless toys every time you felt guilty for not taking care of us, because you thought it would replace your guidance. You gave us free spending money at an early age even though we didn’t do any work for it and didn’t earn it. Now, you’re complaining that we’re carrying that mentality in the work place, yet you’re the one who raised us that way.
You unknowingly showed us that your work ethic leads to nowhere
You told us to follow the rules, to be good citizens and to work hard. Yet we witnessed you get tooled by corporations who mercilessly fired you after years of your precious loyalty, and we saw you lose your soul to nasty 9 to 5 jobs that made you come home angry, depressed and defeated. Now, you foolishly criticize us for switching jobs without caring one bit about the companies we work for, for putting our career goals before corporate interests by refusing to give away our freedom. You wanted us to follow in your footsteps even if a lot of you were unhappy and regretted the choices they made. We won’t.
We’re done listening to you
As a generation that was pampered by a time of fantastic growth of affluence, you went on to develop western countries of excessive consumerism, not having any thought for the consequences that your lifestyle would have on our future and on the future of other less fortunate countries. If we are lazy and narcissist, you’re a generation of superficial, unfulfilled adults who cruised on the success of our grandfathers by using great technological and societal advancements for your own petty leisure.
Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all boomers, as many of you accomplished great things and shouldn’t feel targeted by this message. But to those who fit the description and dare put the blame on us, the children they were supposed to teach the right path, we say: stop trying to be cool, to wear our clothes and to listen to our music, it just doesn’t work.