My cat scratched at a piece of paper laying on the coffee table, kneading the page into a good place to lie down. This reminded me that most of us want a comfortable resting place when we are tired or ready to sleep and that usually we have prepared such a place kept ready for our needs. The United States Baby Boomer population is aging, our economy is in a state of barely possibly recovering, and the children from our generation are playing games on their iPods and Game Boys. Where is our comfortable place to lie down?
According to the US Census Bureau, The United States population within the 30 year-50 year age range comprises approximately 25.3% of the people. We are the middle-aged children coming into their own without a comfortable answer. Our parents gave up their retirement funds to help us out and make ends meet and they are still working even though they are at an age to leave the workforce. The younger generations are up and coming and they are techno savvy in a world changing constantly with plenty of opportunities for those young enough to keep up. In the past, by the time someone was 45 they had made their answer in life. Their job, family, and social standings were stable and it was time to relax and know the comfort factor of solid achievement. We don’t have that in our world today. The next answer and the next answer is all we keep reaching for without finding our answers.
My age group is a minority (I am 43). We are one fourth of the people and we are responsible for three fourths of the population, younger and older, whom rely on our incomes and our resources. Our decision making capability is hampered by an aging population that will not let go of position and taken out of our hands by a younger population that does it faster, easier, and cheaper. When they ask us why we are about ourselves, we can answer truthfully that if we are not we won’t have anything to call our own.
Most of us intend to retire as soon as possible. We do not want to work, like our parents, until we have no choice- because we have no choices. Our kids are better at the games than we are, and they don’t care too much about our answers. Mostly, we don’t connect. Truthfully, they can have the world- as long as they don’t expect us to provide it. We are taking care of ourselves.
In this economy the question is crucial: “When we get where we are going will there be any place left?” I don’t know. In a world where responsibility is illusory, money isn’t working, and technology leaves tired people trying to understand the next development tomorrow- some of us just want a good place to lie down. Once we find it, most of us aren’t getting back up.