Thursday, January 28, 2016

World War II Generation and Baby Boomers

The World War II generation and the Baby Boom generation had a bad relationship with each other. The baby boomers saw their parents as oppressive and controlling, and the World War II generation saw their children as selfish and spoiled. For the most part, Generation X has sided with the World War II generation. In my generation, we see people taking after both.

Both my grandmother and my mother were wonderful people; they did not however get along. My grandmother was a Soviet Communist, and my mother wanted to emigrate to America. This of course caused a lot of conflict. In the end my mother ended up winning. She came to America with her family, and two years later her mother came with my uncle as well.

I have known any number of Americans who were of both generations, and they appear to be similar to their Russian counterparts in character if not in ideology. Americans of the World War II generation, like the Russians of World War II generation, were strong-willed, authoritative, nationalistic, family-oriented, conformist, hard-working, responsible and heavy-handed. The baby boomers in both countries were open-minded, free-spirited, artistic and demanding of freedom for themselves.

What is going on here? Each generation wants to provide for their children the life that they themselves would have wanted to have. The World War II generation was raised in time of economic hardship and war, so they wanted to provide for their children peace and prosperity. The baby boomers, raised as they were in a highly suffocating setting, wanted freedom for themselves and for their children.

Of course the children of baby boomers – particularly in Generation X – rejected their parents. That is because they did not themselves want freedom; they wanted structure and predictability. In my generation – Generation Y – there is a tendency to want to reconcile people; and many people in my generation get along with both their parents and their grandparents even when their parents and their grandparents do not get along themselves.

The World War II generation is nearing its end of their lease on life; and for the most part they will be remembered well. So far baby boomers have a bad reputation, but they still have the time to correct it. They started out as not being selfish at all. They started out fighting for better treatment of all sorts of other people. Now they have the chance to regain the spirit they had when they were younger and truly make the world a better place.


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