If you’ve read Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation” you know that he can present such a story as no one else can. In “The Greatest Generation," Brokaw pays tribute to this generation through the stories of many who were dealt the hand of living through some of the hardest economic times of the country, the Great Depression and World War II, the war of all wars of global impact. Through these times, countless stories of every day people doing whatever it took for family and country, gives pause to all of us to wonder if doing without even the basic necessities of life shapes the character of greatness.
On March 4th, Tom Brokaw will present his latest two hour documentary about the Baby Boomer generation.
The Baby Boom generation is the largest growth population of the United States and are the children of the Greatest Generation. Boomers have been both blamed and heralded for so much of what is good and bad of the country over the last five or six decades. Boomers rebelled, not only against their parents and the golden rules, but also against the government during the 1960’s and 70’s. There seemed to be an awakening of questioning what their parents did and said to them. The Greatest Generation seemed to follow the rules and not question authority, for the most part.
We always need to remember that breaking away from parental supervision is a natural process of aging and of growing from a child into adulthood. Parents have children for many reasons, but nature ensures that as a child begins life, every need must be cared for by his or her parents. When anyone passes from adolescence to early adulthood, part of being able to prepare one’s self to handle situations of life is making one’s own decisions. Decisions that may be very different from how one’s parents may have thought . It is human to question and learn from past experiences...therefore, it is a natural course of life’s path for people to think for themselves.
The Greatest Generation, although seeming to follow and do what they had been told, had their own rebellions as well. Their music and lifestyle was considered evil and far to bold by their parents. They also had the "Roaring 20’s", the 1920’s, which were times of what was considered rebellious, with daring fashions and vicarious lifestyles.
The Boomer generation just appeared to carry this rebellion toward a larger degree, but anything that the largest portion of the population does, naturally has a larger apparent effect. The larger the action, the larger the re-action.
An additional aspect that makes the Boomers' actions of greater consequence is that communication and technology advances made everyone in the country more aware of events when they happened. Television and radio made people aware of the country’s news almost instantaneously. During the Greatest Generation's youth, communities were more isolated and news took at least a day or days to reach many people.
The bottom line is that whatever the largest portion of the population does, will display and equally proportionate awareness. Additionally, much of the negative aspects of the Baby Boomer generation are being made by, you guessed it....their children. Just as the Boomers rebelled and thought they knew a better way than their parents, Boomer children are following nature's course and becoming aware of the world and how they will do it better....at least until their children become adults...