From a Baby Boomer’s Child

I find that a segment of the Baby Boomer generation went too far with rebellious behaviors. To a point, they were understandably bucking the staid ways of the middle and upper class establishments. Jack Kerouac, from the preceding generation, was one such inspirational voice (among others) of rebellion for a swath of Baby Boomer, and some pre-Boomer, intelligentsia. His often crass ways of speaking and relating were taken up and run with as a way of life by many folks. Substance abuse was a significant factor in much of these behaviors/interactions. And while boundaries were duly, constructively pushed and even broken, namely in the political arena, leading to some much-needed awareness and change (for which I am very thankful), a lot of damage was done interpersonally and intra-psychically along the way. I speak from personal experience and observation while growing up.

For the longest time, I idealized a lot of aspects of the Baby Boomer and pre-Boomer generation (including my own parents’ critical thinking, much of their values, and progressive-minded idealism), namely those in the West Coast-based hippie poetry scene. I also cringed at other parts of this very scene in which I was raised, such as all the substance abuse and rampant narcissism.  Over the years, I have steadily embraced my pragmatism and emphasis on self-examination as I continue to integrate these with lessons learned, and worthwhile values retained, from my elders, including many Baby Boomers.

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