The “Baby Boomer Generation”
By Bonnie Jones
Where are all those from 1968?
In a vision I saw a man wearing a blue t-shirt with hundreds of people’s faces imprinted on the front. Across the top of the shirt it read, “Where are all those from 1968?” A woman standing near me said it was demonic. The man answered, “No, it’s the question!”
These are the baby boomers! All those born between the years of 1946 and 1964 are considered “baby boomers.” They are a chosen generation! They’re the ones called to lead the way! The youth have great zeal but lack wisdom. One can only develop wisdom through living life, trial and error, success and failure. Therefore, the youth need the older generation to help develop their spiritual and moral character. There’s much they can learn from our mistakes. Bob would say, “That which took me forty years to learn I can teach to the younger generation in two hours. They can learn from my mistakes and failures.”
The “baby boomer” generation stood by silently as prayer was removed from public school on June 25, 1962. These baby boomers suffered an inward blow that would mark them for the rest of their lives. Up until then each school day began with prayer and reading of scripture and many Christian hymns were sung during choir. Children were taught right from wrong according to the Bible and they were openly allowed to speak of God and Jesus. They were permitted to bless their food in the name of Jesus and were not thrown out of school. The Golden Rule was enforced; “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you!” (Matthew 7:12) There was a sense of honor and respect instilled into this generation and discipline was favorable. We were taught that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. (Proverbs 13:24) Of course pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock felt otherwise.
He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly. (Proverbs 13:24)
It was this generation that was introduced to Howdy Doody, Ed Sullivan, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and Walter Cronkite via television. They stood in mournful awe as they witnessed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963. These babies were eyewitnesses to the “segregation” movement within the public schools system. Courageous Rosa Parks and Civil Rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. were household names. They also witnessed Rev. King’s assassination as well as Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968. These baby boomers bore the wounds of Woodstock, Vietnam and women’s lib. Of course there were the atrocities of Rev. Jim Jones mass murder - suicide in Jonestown, Guyana and Charles Manson’s “Helter Skelter.”
One thing led to another and our social system continued to decline. Then enter the landmark decision of Roe vs. Wade in January of 1973 making abortion legal and soon gays came out of the closet. By now these baby boomers were young adults.
As America began to emerge upward and forward through the “space race and electronic age,” She began a backward moral and spiritual spiral. All of the baby boomers were affected by these changes in our society and many fell prey to their influence. More social breakdown came through mothers returning to the work force and men deserting their families. Many marriages ended in divorce and the Bible and church were no longer a main theme within the family unit. Soap Operas, Elvis, The Beatles, Laugh-In, The Evening News, and Johnny Carson replaced the Holy Bible.
But there is hope! A great many of the baby boomer generation survived these changes. Not only did they survive them, they were overcomers. Perhaps they were victims of the Woodstock hippie scene or discriminated against because of race or color. Maybe some have tried the gay lifestyle or had abortions. Each one has his/her own testimony that needs to be shared with the younger generation. Many baby boomers followed their own heart that led them on a path of hopelessness and despair. But many have turned around and followed the road less traveled. Jesus is the only Way!
This “Baby Boomer” generation must realize they are not out of commission but they have been RE-COMMISSIONED. They are called to come up higher. They have a wisdom this younger energetic generation needs and it’s our responsibility to take them higher. Youth can learn from our mistakes and we must be willing to share our heart with them with love not condemnation. Remember, we were once young too and thought we knew it all! It’s the baby boomers turn to be good listeners and discerners. It’s only through love that we will reach the youth and they will hear us. Let us help them to go higher also. Shake off your dusty rags and get ready to wipe clean the youth as they come without number.
Just a Note to the Reader – I’m a baby boomer and I graduated June 6, 1968. Although it was a good day it was marked by the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. A bittersweet time in my life and those of my graduating class. It’s a day I’ll never forget. Each of these aforementioned things played a personal role in my life as they did for each of us in this generation. I personally believe that the removal of prayer began a downward spiral in this nation and it’s only through the steadfastness of Christians united in prayer that we can turn this around. Our generation has all suffered loss and failure in one-way or another but we are not without hope. And we must live our lives before God for the whole world to see and teach the younger generations to walk in His righteousness and love. Many of us are now grandparents and have the awesome opportunity to impart these values into our grandchildren. Perhaps as parents we flopped or failed but we have recovered and grown wiser. Now is our time to shine and raise up our little ones. After all, they will carry the torch that we bequeath to them. Amen.