A number of years ago Tom Brokaw wrote a book about the “Great Generation” which was about the WWII generation. While I respect Tom and that generation, at the same time the idea that they were somehow the greatest generation troubles me.
Sure they fought two wars and went through a great depression but that alone does not make people great. And sure they dealt with a lot and made great sacrifices but that also doesn’t make them the greatest generation on it’s own.
I can’t think of a single generation that hasn’t had to deal with war, sacrifice, economic downturns or other strife. The sixties or baby boomer generation had it’s Vietnam, Watergate, racial upheaval,the cold war, an assassination of a President and other issues.
The gen-x and millennials had their 9/11, terrorism, Gulf Wars, global warming, recession and other equally troubling issues to deal with.
I think that in hind sight and with age we tend as people to want to think that our era and youth were the greatest ever. We, “yearn for those simpler times” when we were young and seemed to have the world on a string. Most like to think their music was the best, the clothing was the coolest and on and on.
I grew up in the 60’s, baby boomer generation that was going to change the world and who challenged the status quo and “the establishment”. Sure that was cool and noble (I think the mini skirt and free love were the best ideas ever) but in the end we only changed so much and then grew up and many of us ended up becoming the establishment.
I don’t regret at all being part of it all but I can’t say I want to go back to that time and place nor hold onto it too tightly. I think change is good and I am always hoping to improve myself and use my gifts to help change things in a positive way.
What I believe is true about generations is that, just as mankind possesses both good and bad, so do generations. There will always be bigotry, hatred, greed, an inability to understand people who are not like us and the tendency to take our planet for granted.
At the same time there will always be those who are loving, giving, fair, brave, resolute and willing to accept others as they are and protect the things that mean the most to them.
Bottom line, I believe all generations are the greatest and worst at the same time and all we can do as individuals is to grow as individuals and be the best us we can be and use our gifts and talents to the best of our ability and make a positive impact on our world.
Thanks for checking in again this week and I hope yours is a great one.