The other day, someone I graduated high school with posted this:
And then scrolling down I found, from an older uncle:
I saw two opposing memes within two thumb scrolls of each other. I was really confused why this was happening so I searched for some more Baby Boom versus Millennial memes and found:
And then this one:
That very same day, I went home to my parents in Minnesota because my grandparents were visiting. I was having a conversation with my grandpa, who lives in the south. I always thought him to be a traditional Baby Boomer male living by old ideals. In our discussion about student debt, he never once mentioned how my generation is way too lazy to find a job, move away from home, pay back their debt and every other negative connotation I have heard to what the Baby Boomer generation think of us Millennials. In fact, he said student loan interest rates are too high and kids shouldn’t be pressured into going to college right away after high school, college shouldn't be a business it should be an affordable means to a better life.
That is when the thought occurred to me that maybe we shouldn’t be fighting about which generation destroyed the economy or restaurant chains. Rather finding the time to get to know each other. I realized that I don’t really know much about my grandpa other than he was in Vietnam then sold cars and houses. Now this man is in his 70's and I doubt that he only did those three things in his life. The thing is, I never once asked him, or any one of my grandparents or family members older than me what life was like back when they were 24.
I feel one of the biggest issues we have today is a lack of trying to understand those that have grown up in a different era, or maybe this is something only 90s kids will understand. Ok, that was just a joke, but in all reality do any of us know how to just listen or are we all just too afraid of "awkward silence", that we are too busy thinking of the next thing to say, or finding a video or song to show instead of just listening?
There really is nothing wrong with just being quiet after someone says something. On the flip side, there is no need to say something rude if someone says something you don’t agree with.
To me, Baby Boomers and Millennials have more in common than we realize. We both have civil rights movements, fought wars that we had no real business being in, and we both have the lovely and annoying hippie/hipster. I believe we need to team up not on the side of who is closest in age to each other but who has the same ideals. This doesn’t mean Republican or Democrat, I thought my grandpa was a CNN worshiping Republican but it turns out he is just as pissed about the last election cycle as I am.
Now obviously this is all easier said than done cause frankly some people don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone other than themselves or what is closest to them. Changing someone’s mind, young or old is very difficult. They have to want to change their mind. I’m not trying to make a change for anyone, I just want people to know that they are not alone in thinking that there is a real issue after all.
And hey at the end of the day, both Millennials and Baby Boomers can say one thing, “at least we didn’t hit adolescence in the 80s.” Cause we all know the best thing to come out of the 80's, was the 90's.