“OK Boomer” Captures the Tension Between Young and Old. Must It Be so Dismissive?

The young people now in high school, college and just spilling out into the workplace, part of Generation Z, are frustrated, angry and scared. In 2019, their exasperation broke out in a firestorm of just two words: “OK Boomer.” (TIME)

OK Boomer Meme FairYoung or old, we are all in the same dilemma. Yes, our generation is passing down a legacy to a generation that will be way worse off than ours. However, there is always a percentage in each age group that is making things better. As part of the elder group, we owe it to ourselves and our children to be more contemplative and active as if our lives depend on it – because they do.

The millennials have a reason to be angry, and this anger needs to be transformed into something proactive, so as to not fall prey to losing their way with black and white thinking, thus losing focus on how to survive and thrive. As a member of the “old” group, I do feel extra responsibility to do my best to prioritize my relationship to politics, economic disparity, and global warming as much as I do my “separate enjoyment.” I have no argument about this. However, the “young” need to be shot out of a canon as well to live values that will help themselves and our planet to survive.

I am truly grieving for what my representatives and corporations have done to politics and the planet. Confession, anger, and helplessness are all fuel for sensible actions toward healing economics, politics, voting, as well as spreading inspiration to live a life that matters in order to help us all survive.

No matter whether we make it or not, there is no more important time that I know of where our sense of purpose is so clear. We can put our head in the sand and be overwhelmed or angry, but I believe we all need to find an equivalent to a practical prayer… May we all do what we can to benefit the country, world and all living beings.

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Image credit: Illustration by Jameson Simpson for TIME