I am in the demographic group known as the Baby Boomers. We are those born between the end of World War II (1946) and 1964. Baby Boomers are known for “rejecting and redefining traditional values.” So true… I mean, the Flower Children live here. We took pride in being informed citizens and questioning government.
While being very capable, we do now feel the pinch of age discrimination. A bizarre slice of poetic justice for the generation that said not to trust anyone over 30… and now we are all well over 30.
While we are often cast as the scapegoats for political jousting and social ills, some fine accomplishments are credited to the Baby Boomers coming of age. For example, safer driving evolved with seatbelt laws. We are the generation of crazy road trips, dedication to public service and volunteerism, and standing up for gender equality. We protested against war, ended the Cold War, ushered in an era of freedom, and we worked for environmental protection. We launched Saturday Night Live and turned movies into culturally iconic series.
Baby Boomers invented the Internet (noooooo…. It was not Al Gore), personal computers, the USB port, screen time, the Flex-Foot prosthesis, text-to-speech technology, the automated external defibrillator, the disposable cell phone, and Viagra. Baby Boomers also made great advances in areas such as forensic science, including DNA fingerprinting. And New York-born and New Hampshire’s own “Einstein,” better known as Dean Kamen, racked up a number of important inventions. From the ambulatory infusion pump and the portable dialysis machine to the Segway and the iBot, I believe he will be easily recognized and remembered as the greatest inventor of our time.
We Baby Boomers also became the American “sandwich” generation, caring for both youngsters and elders. We have a legacy in social attitudes. And, oh, yes! Baby Boomers put the “rock” in rock & roll music, as it became central to our teen subculture.
See it all as good, bad, or indifferent. That is fine. But with life expectancy dramatically increased, we are not done yet!
(Image by Christian Dorn)