Our Fathers, and some of our Mothers went off to World War II, and then came home and created us. The baby boomers.
Our parents had hopes and dreams that we, their precious children, could change the world to be a better place. That we could change the world to be a world with no more war. That we could change the world to be more accepting. That we could change the world to be a happier place. That we could enrich the world with the knowledge and science that comes with a college degree….one which most of them did not have a chance to get.
Most of our parents, being children of the depression, wanted more for us then they we’re able to have. So they gave things to us. Our Christmases were like Ralphie’s in “A Christmas Story”. We had our ball gloves and our baseball games. Football became a major force in America during our lifetimes. Hell, all sports did for that matter. We concentrated more on being good athletes, than we did being good citizens.
We were expected to get good grades in school, and to be polite. We did….we were.
We owed it to our Moms and Dads to succeed in our quest to change the world. It has been changed, but we have not changed it for the good.
Instead, we became the “me” generation. We became the “lost” generation. We became the generation who’s motto was “make love and not war”. We were the generation who protested the “Vietnam” war.
We created wonderful music. We wrote great books. But in the space of all this time between the “then” of our birth and the “now” of today, we became divided. We diverged in the late 60’s onto two separate paths. Some remained liberal children of the flower power movement , while others made a choice to move on to more conservative norms.
I don’t pretend to be able to reduce all the complicated reasons we are where we are now into a few paragraphs. It’s impossible. But the gist of what I am trying to say is that my generation was many. We were the majority of voters at one time in this country…and we failed. We failed to do all the things we were supposed to do for our Moms and dads.
We failed to heal. We failed to unite, and we failed to erase hatred and prejudice. Now it is too late for us. Our time to effect change has been lost like the long hair we used to wear.
All I can say is “Dad and Mom…I’m so damned sorry I failed you, I am so terribly, awfully sorry”. I did not realize that my civic duty was more important than “feeling good”. By the time I have realized it……..
There’s millions more out there, Baby Boomers….who owe their folks the same apology. We let the chance to change the world into a better place for our children and grandchildren, slip away like sand through the hourglass of our era.
Now we reap what we sow….or more appropriately, what we failed to sow. We deserve what we get for betraying the sacred mission with which our parents entrusted us.
Make the world a better place to live. Leave more than you found.