An Open Letter to My Fellow Baby Boomers
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I am a Baby Boomer. And in the past, I have found myself thinking that since we’ve been around longer, we are older and wiser. I was resistant to change, and to be honest, I still am. I thought that we live in a world that’s a bit too sensitive, and there is a little bit of truth to that. But it finally hit me that the world is getting better, not worse.
It all started with the news story that some of the old Dr. Seuss books have racial undertones. I, like so many other Baby Boomers, thought that sounded absolutely ridiculous. An outrage! I loved my Dr. Seuss books. They were a huge part of my childhood. I don’t remember anything racist. But I haven’t picked up one of those books in decades. After doing some research, I found out that Dr. Seuss did indeed publish some work that was racist back in the day. So, is it a surprise that some of that could make it into his books for children? I guess not.
Yes, it was a different time, but that’s the whole point. We’re trying to make it a better world. A more tolerant world. And this is how it starts. By recognizing our mistakes and fixing them. When I was a kid, we didn’t have bike helmets. Are today’s kids wussies because they wear them now? Nope. They’re safer, that’s what they are. And seat belts. We never wore them, even when we were in cars that had them. Were we cooler back then than we are today? No, we were just stupider.
It doesn’t mean we can’t hold on to our great memories or that we can’t embrace our past. It doesn't mean we have to erase the past. But we’ve learned from past mistakes, and that’s how it’s been since the beginning of time. If we didn’t allow change and improvement, we’d still be cavemen.
My advice to my fellow Boomers? The next time you get aggravated because you think the world is too sensitive, or because you think we need to get a thicker skin, or that today just isn’t as great as the good old days, rethink it. We live in a safer, more tolerant world. And that’s a better world.