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Baby Boomers - What Do You Value? (Part 3)

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 98

A brief disclaimer: As I have said before, I have no training in sociology or any related field, but as someone who has experienced life as a boomer, I have come to agree with at least some of the beliefs of the majority of our generation. Therefore, I make no claim to speak for everyone born between 1946 and 1964 here. This is a story of our generation as I lived it.

The word "real" has several definitions. Here, it means authentic or genuine. It is the opposite of fake, bogus, sham, phony, or counterfeit." As a group we boomers have always been people who demanded authenticity in our relationships with others. Many of us became outraged by any person or idea that struck us as phony or fake. It was as though we thought we had some kind of sixth sense which let us see through other's masks and tell what lay behind it.

Looking back on it from the perspective of someone who has lived a while, I now see that there was a lot of youthful naivete going on with all that. In reality we became very judgmental and even cynical. We were measuring the people and things around us by the yardstick of the cultural and generational norms that were developing at the time. Indeed, many of those norms were new and uniquely characteristic to our generation. They shaped the way we perceived the world around us, and they became the filters through which we viewed our world. In some cases our filters were passed along to the rest of society which started to see the world as we did. This is one of the many lasting influences of the boomer generation.

Our filters and the strong detection system we had for sniffing out the false placed institutions as the government, the church, and even the family structure we grew up in under a microscope and examined as if for the first time. If something was found that struck us as being counterfeit, it was discarded and many of us walked away from it. All this led to a growing sense of disillusionment with a system that we considered to be broken. Many of us seemed to think that an extreme change from the past was the only cure.

It could be interpreted that many of the events around us drove us to this radical point of view. Our disillusionment over the war in Vietnam, the sense that no one in government was telling the truth, the unraveling of a presidency in the Watergate mess, the social and racial unrest, campus uprisings at Berkeley, Kent State, and elsewhere had a cumulative effect. There was so much anger, violence at home and abroad, and uncertainty about the future that it all started to seem unreal to many of us. We wanted to escape from all of that and began to search for what we could hang onto as being genuine or authentic.

For some of us, the search for the authentic led us to lifestyles that included marijuana or drugs like LSD and others. Communes and cults of all kinds sprang up. Music became louder and more radical. Some thought that through these things they could find a way to escape the unreality around them and focus on what was real.

Others found authenticity in religion. There was a rise in eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, especially Hare Krishna. Many of us who are Christians found that the only thing we could really count on was the unchangeableness of the Bible and our belief in God and turned there as an anchor to authenticity. However, we were not content to express our faith as our fathers had. New expressions were found. This led to the Jesus Movement, various parachurch organizations and new forms of gospel music. Many of us dropped out of traditional churches and met together in our own groups because we felt that the mainstream churches were just as bogus as any other institution in society.

As we grew older and started to have children of our own and became more mature adults, some of us seemed to slowly quit our search for the authentic. We stopped demanding such high levels of accountability. Expediency and the pressures of daily life started crowding in and rather than maintain the search we conformed.

Now that we are starting to retire, what has happened to the searchers? I like to believe that we can still have a voice and, when we see something that is not right, we can and should say so. I am not advocating any particular political position or policy. However, I would like to point out that no matter what your views are, there is still a lot of phoniness out there. Let's keep on seeking the "real."

Our generation has always been looking for the genuine, the authentic, the "real."That is till what we want and what the world needs.Now that we are older, let's not give up the search.

Now a final note to all you boomers out there. You changed the world before, and you can do it again. It's never too late to start. You have the power to shape your own future and affect change for the better. At the bottom of this page is a link to my private website reserved for the use of people like you who want to explore ways to gain a better future for themselves and their families. If you follow this link, you will see a video I did which will explain in more depth some additional things I have learned. It will also introduce you to some people that helped to mold my thinking about my own future.

Here is the link.

Source: EzineArticles
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