Before I get into this letter let me preface by saying if you’re a baby boomer that is a black person, brown person, or a person that is in the LBTQ community this letter is not for you. If you are a baby boomer that has been a lifelong activist that has challenged the narrative of this culture in hopes of trying to make this world a better place, please disregard this letter. This letter is for the typical white, heterosexual, middle to upper class, baby boomer, that lives in the United States, and that loves to criticize my generation.
I hear two things from these typical white, heterosexual, middle to upper class baby boomers, that live in the United States and criticize my generation.
The first thing I want to touch on is how my generation is the “me” generation. We are the generation that is greedy, self-absorbed, and wasteful. Well what can I say to you baby boomers except that we learned from the best.
Ever heard of the saying “you reap what you sow?” You are the ones who have sewn the qualities of “me” into many people in my generation.
Take a look at the blowhard, barbarian, asinine, shoot from the hip, beautiful babies, baby boomer President of the United States, you know the newly enshrined war criminal that has really put the “boom” in baby boomer during his presidency? Talk about an entitled, arrogant individual who couldn’t care less about anything except money, power, and his immediate family. For some of you baby boomers it’s a tough pill to swallow, looking into a mirror of your generation and seeing it reflected back as a racist, sexist, alternative facts, shit for brains with a fox pelt welded on his head. For others in your generation you embrace him because he embodies who you are.
Then you wonder why my generation made it all about “me”. We learned this from you. See anytime we couldn’t handle our emotions as children or became upset over something you didn’t want to deal with it. You told us to go to our rooms and think about what we have done, you put us in “timeouts”. You did this because suppressing our feelings made things more convenient for you. The way our emotions made you feel was more important than us expressing our emotions. You taught us suppression instead of expression. It was in these moments we were taught nothing gets in the way of the stability of your feelings. You had the opportunity to let us in, but instead you shut us out. Now you wonder why it’s all about us and we are self-absorbed?
Maybe if we learned about our feelings and expressing them more people in this world would help others and the planet would be prioritized over profit. But see your generation doesn’t look at the big picture, and now you’re begging us to do so since climate change is here. And then there are a lot of you who don’t care about climate change because when things get bad you will be dead already. But we are the “me” generation right?
If my generation is generation “selfie” then you are a generation of settlers. Your settling only enhanced my generation’s selfishness. Even though some of you protested the Vietnam War many of you went home and settled for endless war inflicted abroad on innocent men, women, and children. Even though some of you supported and/or protested for the civil rights act, once it was passed you went home. While you celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr now you have forgotten that he was marginalized and penniless when he was assassinated. You forgot he was taking on U.S. Imperialism, he wanted to invest in poor communities and stop waging war abroad. While you remember his I have a dream speech, you abandoned that dream of continuing to take on the issues he gave his life for. This was his nightmare.
See once you got married and had kids you stayed home and you preached words to us like “faith” and “hope”. These words were used to us in a context of pacifism and inaction, we were told to have “faith” in something or “hope” for something. This goes along with your “do what feels good” and “life is a game” mantra.
It’s these words and phrases that speak to the self centered mindset you have for you and your immediate family.
Doing what feels good requires little thinking and really what you mean is do what feels good for you, not doing right for others and the natural world. It’s making it about “me” not “we”. It promotes small-minded stubbornness.
You had that luxury to do what feels good because you have a more financially secure life than your parents. My generation is not getting that progression, my generation has to live at home with their parents. My generation has to deal with the fact that 51% of all Americans make under $30,000 year despite wages being stagnant since the 1970s you have settled for that because that may not have impacted you.
Getting back to the proclamations of “faith” and “hope” you preached. You preached this from a Christian view point. If that’s your religion I can respect that but what I can’t respect is you breathing down my throat telling me to talk to your Christian God about making the world a better place. Depending on your God to maintain the planet comes from a “do what feels good” privileged mindset. It relinquishes the idea of taking responsibility for your actions. I am Agnostic and I don’t put “faith” or “hope” into the idea of whatever created this planet and life on it has the responsibility for maintaining it. I look at it as I was given life and the opportunity to live a life on this planet filled with living beings as a gift. And I take responsibility for the actions I take toward the gifts I was provided. I certainly realize the lives of my species are just as valuable as every life in the natural world. I have also realized that going to your church or talking to your God isn’t going to justify my actions. This is an extremely entitled outlook on how your generation views the natural world and life in general, but I forgot my generation is the entitled generation? Guess where people in my generation learned their entitlement from?
And what I certainly won’t listen to is you telling me we were created in the Christian God’s image. I don’t think his image includes the United States waging war in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Libya simultaneously, all the while consuming as much of the living planet as possible which has driven 28,458 species to extinction as of March 21, 2017. This is an average of 360 species a day. If we were created in your God’s image, something is seriously wrong with your God.
The looks of disgust your generation gives mine when you see us buried in our smartphones, smart watches, smart tablets, and smart televisions as we watch honey boo boo with our “bae” is a reflection on taking the easy way out with us. You worshiped technology and celebrity when we were growing up so where did you think this was all leading to? You were content on us playing video games instead of engaging in relationships with the community and the natural world. Your shortsightedness failed to see to quote Neil Everden that “It is easier to live alone than to learn the constraints and obligations of community life.” Or maybe you knew this but you did what was convenient for you. And now we feel alone and look for smart devices as a means of comfort and community.
The second thing I want to tackle is your generation apologizing for leaving us the planet in the shape that it’s in or depending on our generation to “save the planet”.
Couldn’t it be possible that maybe some of us in my generation are self-absorbed because you’re putting a lot of pressure on us and it’s a lot to absorb? We now have to absorb the mistakes you have made, we have to absorb that the narratives you taught us on how to go about life were false narratives.
If you were really sorry for leaving the planet the way you have for us you wouldn’t say this to me in some off the cuff way. If you’re really that sorry then what are you going to do about it or are doing about it? You have plenty of time to show your remorse and do something to show your sorrow instead of fading into oblivion or as this culture calls it settling on the retired life.
When you say we need to save the planet I do not think you mean that literally. Instead, what you want my generation to do is find the answer to a particular question you have. To quote Neil Everden in his life changing work, The Natural Alien, “But the question society wants answered is not how to be right but how to be smart – how to go on doing what it has been doing, without paying the price.”
Sorry I am not sorry I won’t or can’t answer this question for you, sorry I am not sorry I won’t take on the burden of trying to clean up your mess and save the planet. Sorry I am not sorry I am done with conforming to your culture and your standards. Sorry I am not sorry for living life by my own standards. Sorry I am not sorry that I may feel detached because I have been buried alive in your bullshit and now I have to climb my way out of it. Sorry I am not sorry that you don’t like my generation and you can’t see that maybe it’s a reflection on yours since you parented my generation.
Now comes the point where I turn the tables on you and tell you to go to your room, think about what you have done, and once you do you can come back out. Think about the world you have settled for and left to us, think about where your priorities were when you raised us as children, think about how you programmed us into taking on the role of “man” and the role of “woman” in this culture, instead of taking on being human in a living planet, and finally think about your shortsightedness on life. Failing to see the big picture has now left our generation in a shit storm. Something tells me that once I send you to your room you’re never going to come out of it.