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Baby Boomer, Gen X, Millennial, or Gen Z

Girl with Birthday Cake & Candles
Photo Courtesy of Jan Fidler at


Recently, I asked a student in my class, if he could categorize himself as one of the following: Baby Boomer, Gen X, Millennial, or Gen Z. He really didn’t have a clue and said so. In my estimation, he was a Gen Z’er ,and not knowing those groups was one of the actual characterizations of Gen Z’ers—not caring about labels…true irony.

If I may, I’d like to speak for the “Whos” ala Dr. Seuss and Horton. The previous sentence is an obscure reference from one of my favorite children’s book authors, Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka. Dr. Seuss). Because I used that reference, one could surmise that I am a Baby Boomer, born between 1945 and 1965 (give or take a few years on either side). The moniker is less about the actual age and more about my life experiences. Yes, I am on the cusp of being either at the end of the Boomers or the start of the Gen X’ers, but I relate most closely with the Boomers.

We Baby Boomers have been getting pretty beat up by the youngers, lately. Often, I hear my own sons referring to “Boomers” in an exasperated, almost irritated tone. Huh? What did we do that is so bad? Oh, I know there’s lots of social media circulating about the constantly-complaining, supervisor-loving “Karens” and “Richards”—typically described as entitled, arrogant and unreasonable olders. I’ve endured this type of person in my life as well. However, perhaps this is a lesson in tolerance or even non-judgement.

Boomers have endured wars, crippling recessions, racial riots, police brutality AND unfair police demonization, stereotyping, the deterioration of our middle class, corrupt government, outrageous sexism, more scandals concerning our “heroes” than I’d like to admit and our own perceived mediocrity. I believe that each generation, regardless of the label, has their own crosses to bear.

We can never know exactly what it is like to walk in another’s shoes but surely we can attempt to empathize, not be so quick to judgement, and begin to tolerate the “other”. Agreed, there are some selfish, abhorrent people in this world, but I can assure you they didn’t start out that way. Next time you want to grouse about that pain in the butt, Boomer, consider where they have been…and where you will be in 20 years or so.

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