Move Over Boomers: five reasons why I have hope for the future


Four years after writing my first blog, I still feel this way! Move over boomers!

My husband and I recently decided to move into a small house near the university we’ve been renting to college students for the last twelve years. Being downwardly mobile sounded like a good idea at the time, but the reality of trying to upgrade a seventy-five year old, thousand square foot house is another thing altogether. David is in charge of most of the work inside, with me as gopher and assistant. Meanwhile, I’ve been working on the outside.

My first project was to weed whack and rake eleven years’ worth of crap out of the backyard. Yes, I know I’m pointing out what bad landlords we’ve been. Can we move on now? I decided to approach the chore as if I were an archeologist in the future, discovering what I could learn about college students through the detritus of over eleven years. I found, just what you’d expect to find: beer bottle and bottle tops, coke cans (only one or two) liquor bottles, ashes from fire pits and a surprising number of sharpie pens. Apparently, students do occasionally try to study, even if it is a weak attempt while in the back yard drinking beer.

What conclusions would an archeologist have after examining the evidence? One might conclude the college students of this millennium were fire worshiping, booze hounds with a mating ritual involving sharpie pens. Perhaps they wouldn’t be too far from the truth, but this small picture of college student life does not in any way tell you what these same students become once they graduate.

Let me tell you five reasons why I have hope for the future and why I believe it’s time for boomers, me included, to move over. (tweet this)

  1. Austin, having graduating from a private college in California, is wasting his degree tutoring at risk-youth in Watts.
    2. Micaella, also a parental disappointment (NOT), is living in inner city Chicago training the urban poor in job skills.
    3. Liz, who graduated from a university in Nevada, is working to help rescue girls from sex slavery in Thailand.
    4. Daniel, started microbusinesses with A.I.D.S impacted African women.
    5. Sarah, my own daughter, interrupted her university study when a tsunami hit Sri Lanka. She got on-line and found others who wanted to help.
    Eventually organizing teams of people to go to Sri Lanka in shifts and help with relief efforts.

These are only five of the countless numbers of millennials who are choosing to use their degrees to make a difference in the world. I am humbled and in awe of their love for people and their commitment to serve humanity. My generation made some strides in social change, but justice seems to be in the DNA of this generation.

And so I say it’s time for the boomers to get out of the way. We’ve had our day in the sun. Now it’s time to step aside and let the young ones lead us into the future. We do still have a job; don’t get me wrong. Our job is to love them, help them, encourage them, feed them and follow them. But for heaven’s sake, get out of the way.

What do you think? Do you know any young people that inspire you?


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