Are Baby Boomers Selfish?

I heard a comment this morning that Baby Boomers are selfish! I wonder if that is the case? Here's my opinion on that comment based on the work that I undertake daily in organisations.

Depending on which website you so to, Baby Boomers (BB's) for the most part were born between 1946 and 1964. Their parents, the Traditionalists born before 1946, had been through tough times in their own upbringing which was reflected in the way they raised their children, the BB's. Tough times meant tough decisions had to be made about what, if any, disposable income should be spent on. Strict discipline was how BB's were kept in line should they stray.

As they were growing up, most Baby Boomers made a silent pact that they would never let their own children go without, as they perceived this was occurring in their own upbringing. Not that they didn't go without, BB's just wanted to give their children more so that they didn't have to work as hard. And not just more, BB's wanted to provide the very best of what was available for their family.

Baby Boomers, for the most part, were workaholics - ask them to work overtime and they said 'Yes' without consulting their partner or considering how it might impact on their family - by working overtime they were being successful and bringing home the food so their family will be happy, wouldn't they? BB's had no hesitation in going to work outside of business hours to catch up when behind in their work or might bring work home with them.

Funnily enough, and despite bringing work home, work and home were never mixed. BB's left what was happening at home, at home. Never talk to them about their family if it is not part of the conversation or relevant in any way. This was personal. Baby Boomers were, and still are, driven. Success to them was either a promotion at work, a fancy title, monetary bonus, a nice house, or just being able to afford whatever they wanted to. All of this was done in the name of their family and they were proud of their success.

Baby Boomers learned from books called encyclopedias - really big books that were years out of date by the time that they were printed. They didn't have instant access to information therefore had to store their readings inside of their heads for long periods of time. Most BB's did this by rote learning, going over and over the information until it was ingrained in their heads. They have the ability to retain more information than any other generation and will be quick to tell you so.

If BB's had to learn a new skill, they had to first unlearn the old one or slowly modify the way in which they worked to move to the new skill. The way Baby Boomers spoke with each other was also unique, they masked the difficult part of the conversation around nice messages, hence the praise sandwich was born. They also spoke in long sentences because, apart from reading, this is how they passed on information.

Are Baby Boomers selfish, certainly not, they do what they do for their family. Do they want to leave a legacy for their family, mostly they do in the form of property or material items. Do they care about others, you bet, they just won't tell you because they simply get on and do it. Do they want to 'fit in', yes.

In my humble opinion, where BB's need to change is in the way that they communicate and behave. In short, they need to change their seemingly selfish ways.

BB's could stop comparing the way that they were raised with the way children are raised today. BB's could think more about the wider community and not just their own family and circle of friends. BB's could take more cognisance of how the environment is at risk if things continue the way they are. BB's could modify the way that they talk with others, millennials and pluralists don't converse that way. BB's could consider that information today is instant therefore sitting for long periods of time studying is no longer necessary.

Finally, Baby Boomers, Millenials and Pluralists called all learn from the Traditionalists. For the most part, Tradiltionalists were respectful in their communications regardless of what they thought or of their personal views.

And before you Baby Boomers jump on what I have just said, not all of you are the same, I get that. We don't like being lumped into the same group and don't like generalisations. We you ask? Yes, I am a Baby Boomer too.