Column: Do you fit your generation?

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Commentary by Lorene Burkhart

If you were born in my generation, between 1927 and 1945, Chuck Underwood, author of “The Generational Imperative,” calls you part of the Silent Generation. He says that “the Silent’s” are our nation’s last innocent generation.

Now that I have your attention, what does this generational stuff have to do with real life? Actually, the descriptions for the generations profiled in this book hit the nail on the head, from my life experiences.

Our parents, born between 1901 and 1926, were molded by world events and the economy (World War I, Great Depression and World War II). They passed on to us their resulting values of struggle and sacrifice and, finally, triumph and cohesiveness. We created our core values based on those parental experiences. Postwar prosperity launched conformity, but the latter part of the group rocked the boat with their ideas of consumerism, feminism, civil rights and the Elvis beat of rock.

Then we produced the baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. The first wave (1946-1954) were impacted by the Vietnam War, which resulted in a feeling of empowerment, “I Have a Dream” and the consciousness movement. The second wave of boomers (1955-64)  came of age during the best times in America to be a kid. They emerged with hope and unlimited opportunity.

Then they produced the GenX generation, born between 1965 and 1981. Their formative years were the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. You remember those years – prosperity and good times.

Following this group are the millennials, born between 1982 and the present. They are described as the most adult-supervised kids in American history. Result: team players, compassionate, community active with high expectations.

Having recently spent time with my boomer son, born in 1957, and his millennial son, born in 1987, I was struck by how accurately this book portrayed them. It isn’t a new release but is available on Amazon. I found it to be fascinating, especially since I’ve experienced every one of the generations described. Let’s get together and talk about it.


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