essays

The Bright Side

babiesNot a day goes by that you don’t see an article how baby boomers are going to have a detrimental effect on something or other. We influence healthcare, banking, employment trends, you name it. The trouble with being an 800 pound gorilla is that you end up being the gorilla that menaces everyone and everything.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We didn’t ask for this role, so everyone needs to stop blaming us personally for being the 800 pound demographic.

We were not born to overburden social security (at least it was not my intent) or to increase the demand for assisted living facilities and Medicare. We were truly innocent bystanders. It was the “greatest generation” that decided to procreate all at once.

So, can we agree to depersonalize the rants? Baby boomers are not any more self-centered or selfish than any other demographic. It may look that way because of our demographic clout, but on a case by case basis, we’re as level-headed and sweet as any other generation.

In fact, lately we’re getting credit for having a positive impact on some industries. Today it was home remodelers. Last week it was home builders. It seems that because boomers are retiring and moving to downsized digs, it’s going to have a ripple effect in the home remodeling and construction sector. With retirement looming or already here, boomers are planning to see the world, so the travel sector should be thanking us soon as well. Life of BrianAnd what about the drug industry? You can’t tell me they’re eyeing the prospect of ballooning drug sales thanks to 70 million pill popping seniors. Hair color and salon services? Non-profits who rely on volunteers? Wine sales? Fitness and exercise programs? RV manufacturers? Nutritional products? And don’t forget the funeral business--we’re dying to help them.

So there is an upside to being a boomer (well maybe dying is more of a downside). Industries like us. They really like us.

For Monty Python’s Life of Brian fans, there’s a simple outlook on life to follow:

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle,
Don't grumble, give a whistle,
And this'll help things turn out for the best, and...
always look on the bright side.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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