A Boomer Responds
I have started to reply to OPINION: A strong Gen Y message to Boomers 3 times since reading it! My initial reaction was equally strong: I have to say I found it both condescending and arrogant and therefore not helpful in bridging the gap between generations!
I have now slept on it and- stepping back- I feel it is full of stereotypes both in presuming what Boomers think of Gen Y (a long list of the classic reproaches) and also in the perception of Boomers … I am looking at the subject from the other side so this is how I feel:
Generational Strengths and Weakness
Yes of course Gen Y grew up with new technology, yes we boomers had to learn late and perhaps some failed to move with the times. However let’s not tar everyone with the same brush! Yes we know you are in the room! and that is just great; it is as it should be. Every generation has its strengths and its weaknesses but -as in society itself- companies need the diversity of age. If the writer’s parents and parents -in-law chose what she seems to perceive as a frivolous retirement, perhaps they worked hard for many years and deserve it?
I do not fit the Boomer caricature: I am still paying for my house, am environmentally aware, perhaps more than my daughter and still working and benefiting from the diversity of age (and culture) we have in our company. I changed directions 5 years ago studying long and hard -whilst working, to gain new skills which I am now putting into practice.
Were they Risk Adverse?
I take exception to the belief that our parents were risk averse! They were drawn into a war before they had the chance to even think of a career and then worked from scratch to give us the best. So this is precisely what parents do! Of course we are affected by the context we live in but we do our best in the times which befall us. The writer is very lucky to have help for her mortgage ( if I understood correctly) from the Boomers she is so blithely shrugging off.
Our advice only comes from experience
Of course I may feel irritated by a younger generation seemingly always peering at a screen as they walk to work and yes I may say that they are very “me” oriented. However I’m sure my parents generation thought my music was too loud, I was not so ambitious and so on .. this is what generations do! They repeat the same advice based on their experience and the younger ones reject it precisely for that reason.
No generation will get it all right… of course not but I feel the writer is perhaps ‘guilty’ of the very attitudes she reproaches in Boomers?
Keep in mind those famous words ” Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
Open-mindedness and co-operation are the keys to living and working with diversity : I wonder if the writer has not simply “written the Baby Boomer Generation off” in her race to take their place. Remember also there is ALWAYS another generation behind you snapping at your heels!
Here is the original post
A Strong Gen Y message to Boomers
I find myself in all kinds of situations where comments are made by other generations, particularly Boomers, about Gen Y.
I am 33. Hey, I AM Gen Y. And I am in the room.
I listen as they reel off our so-called defining characteristics as if we are some sort of sociology experiment: tech savvy, restless and flighty, seeking both work/life integration and variety, rapid online communicators, skilled multi-taskers, job hoppers, coddled, lazy, needy, desperate for love and affection, addicted to immediate attention, needing a trophy for every even minor achievement, indulged childhoods and so on. Read on here: