An Open Letter From A New Generation


Dear Baby Boomers,

Thank you.

No, really, I mean it. You guys catch a lot of flack from my generation, the "me, me, me, millennials," and not nearly enough gratitude. So I'm here to give you some props. You fought for civil rights. You dealt with a draft and a very unpopular foreign policy. You survived a nuclear arms race, political corruption, a depression in the 80s, crack, AIDS... and you raised a generation into adulthood who were born into a communication revolution that you created, but now can barely understand. But how could you? It was and still is an exponentially transforming digital landscape. In the last few decades we have seen obsolescence of goods and services that had been the bedrock of modernism, and media creations at every turn.

And now that we are grabbing the wheel, no longer perched safely upon your lap, we want to let you know that we got it from here. Yes we have problems, and yes, you're going to hear plenty of us whine and complain and blame everything on the generations before ours. You're forcing us to fight you for new civil rights. That's right, we want equality for all, and it will happen under our watch. Now our peers are fighting in an unpopular war, and just like you are coming home without limbs and without proper mental healthcare. You're handing us political systems so pumped full of graft and ineffective local and national leaders that more than half of us officially denounce both political parties. We have a financial depression and a dead job market, and the middle of the country is losing its teeth to methamphetamine and prescription opiates... Yet a few of us are starting to realize, maybe it's not all your fault.

Thanks to our hyperconnectivity and growing communication addiction, there seems to be quite a lot of negative editorialization about the world we inherited from you. However, there is a strong contingent of us who actually have used this great big internet to learn something about history, and we understand that the world you inherited, while you may not have been able to access as much of it as rapidly as we can, was pretty messy back then as well.

What you did give us that many millennials recall fondly, is SUPPORT. You gave love, work ethic, a sense of right and wrong in a global society, and the belief that we can do anything we believe we can do. As poet Phillip Larkin so eloquently put it, "man hands on misery to man." But, you gave us a medal simply for showing up, and by rule of reciprocity, we not only feel the need to earn every one of them, but we also feel capable of doing so, because you gave us the confidence and optimism to lead this country and steer this vehicle safely back home... and maybe if we are lucky save the planet as well.

But we can't do it without you, so please jump back in and take the ride with us. So here we go, for hell or high-water, literally (we MUST address global warming immediately), please join the millennial generation and let's tackle every problem together. With your help, we will no longer be generation "Why me?" but generation "Why not us?" a D-I-Y generation that cares more about social impact than financial gain. Yes that does mean Facebook "likes," but it also means non-profit jobs, volunteering, and entrepreneurship. I never said we were perfect. You did, when we were five, remember? We just listened.

We've got a lot to face and the tools to do so.
So let's beat cancer.
Let's save our environment.
Let's fix the government.
And let's never fight again.

My, oh my, Baby Boomers. What have you created?


One of many grateful and optimistic millennials

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

The Seven Myths Of Middle Age