"Boomers today are a very unentertaining mix of "Never regret! Life starts at 70!" and "Life is a cruel joke, ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'" Movies like showcase a bunch of grey hairs still acting badly, swallowing their shame, and ignoring their appropriate role as the wise mentors of the younger generations. The Dorian Greyish dark echo of this kind of story, are movies like and the chillingly titled , in which the characters' lives of narcissism and greed devolve into cynicism and brutality."
To be fair, the boomers did bring along the civil rights movement and ... well, that's about all I can think of. Oh, the charismatic movement in the Church and Christian communities. That was a good thing. My parents are of the younger end of that generation and, still having been in grade school, escaped the worst madness of 1968 and beyond. They enjoyed the more grounded evangelical end of the Jesus freaks. Praise you, Lord.
Nicolosi has a chilling warning for the older boomers:
"History is devastatingly cyclical. The Boomers made the case that they should end their marriages and abort their children for the God Expediency. Their children, stripped of any attachment to a moral framework, will eye the old grey hairs, drooling and in diapers -- but certainly still sneering -- and consider expedient "Death with Dignity" to be a sensible and pragmatic policy."
While I certainly don't think many individual members of my generation will make a cold calculation to kill mom and dad since mom and dad killed their siblings and divorced, I have no doubt that such a cultural trend is possible. Like the characters in Juno, which Nicolosi references, our peers will stumble vaguely toward either a cowardly morphine shot or else to a heroic care for the parents who ruined their young lives. The choice will hardly be virtuous or vicious: We have simply not received the formation that would make us really culpable for our choices.
Here, I think Nicolosi gets it right:
"I suspect the only way to reach the Millennials and Gen Xers, from a spiritual standpoint, will be with a powerful, renewed ethic of the value of suffering and the urgent need for forgiveness. We need hero stories perhaps more urgently than any generation of humanity that has come before."
I certainly know that I have a great need to forgive the boomer generation--there are days I find it nearly impossible, mostly because the true boomers in my life who made such devastating choices simply deny that they did anything wrong. How do you forgive the unrepentant? Christ did from the cross. It must be done, and it must be done in him.
I'm thinking about hero stories a lot as I prepare to teach Miriam this year. Nicolosi's historical analysis here convicts me that she and her sisters will have plenty of opportunities to emulate the heroes of old. But more on that later... heroism calls me to change another diaper.