In the course of research for an upcoming class I’ll be teaching on 20th Century life in America I have naturally encountered considerable material on the Baby Boomer generation. I am a “boomer” and while I know I have already lived through some of the most historically important events in American history, I have not really given much thought to how those events have been interpreted by the generations that followed me; Generation X,Y and Z. Well, based on the very preliminary research I’ve done, it seems there is a considerable debate brewing about the perilous conditions we boomers have passed on to those who follow us. Clearly there seems to be no shortage of “boomer bashing” opinions out there and while I defend everyone’s right to have an opinion I am left wondering if some of the “ranting” is perhaps a little short on sources; specifically, the actual interpretations of boomers themselves.
Have we given our subsequent generations enough data from which to make informed interpretations? Do they know how you experienced the 60’s or 70’s and how the events of those periods influenced the person you became? Do they know the rights they take for granted were not easily attained? We have the information; we have the memories and recollections. Are we documenting it, sharing it with our families, and helping to set the record straight? Look around your house; there are memory triggers everywhere. A photo, a piece of jewelry, a knick knack or piece of art; the list is endless and quite often simply looking at those “things” can trigger memories of a time long past. It is in your memories that a new interpretation of the event resides and you alone can help set the record straight.
Remember, you should be Saving History…because your story is priceless.