Baby Boomers, the Once and Future We
Some lives are very full, in some aspects, perhaps too full. For those of us who comprise the baby boomer generation, that is all too frequently the case.
We’ve seen politics at its worse, most ignoble, selfish and hypocritical become, not just a fashion but a tradition. We’ve seen the mass media lose all credibility in billows of hypocrisy and we’ve witnessed democracy’s demise and its replacement by what some call the Dark State. We’ve seen wealth inequality explode, perpetual war become the norm and genocide morph into mere “collateral damage”. We’ve seen those we criticized most become the image that faces us in our mirrors. And now, we’re starting to see more and more of those we’ve lived with disappear.
Still, everything has not been negative, far from it. On a very personal level, many of us have been privileged to witness many positive things. The realization that racism is unjustifiable, that xenophobia is wrong, that sexism has no place in a just society, that music in its myriad variations is wonderful and that art takes many, many forms, all of them with meaningful insights to share. Some of us have learned tolerance and strive to discard strife and hatred. We’ve seen the rise, and sadly the demise, at least for now, of flower power, with its associated rejection of jealousy and envy, crass materialism, injustice and inequity, with its quest for unfettered joy.
We strove for spiritual heights and almost attained them, only to fall prey to the quotidian demands of perceived family obligations and then to be informed towards the end that financial security was not really what our spouses and children needed from us. A bit confusing in a world where seemingly being wrong is the norm. Still, although our most productive days, at least in a traditional sense, seem to be behind us, many of us are finding old friends in alternative realities we once knew and very strongly espoused. Finding the “we’ we’d lost. Experiencing the perception that comes from temporal depth amidst our growing personal separation from things in which we were once too ensconced to see.
And many of us have learned through experience that as with Socrates, the only thing we know for sure is that we know nothing but that if we keep our minds open, we’ll keep growing and at least approach a semblance of truth.
Here’s to baby boomers as we slowly fade away.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved