“Manifesto” finds roots in the Latin word manifestum meaning “to be clear.” To issue a manifesto is to signal something needs said with clarity. That’s me. There’s something I need to say with clarity. That’s why I wrote “The Baby Boomer Manifesto: Claiming the Best Is Yet To Be.”
Many people aren’t shy in trumpeting their feelings about the Baby Boomers. Our over 50 crowd gets the blame for raising a generation of spoiled brats, causing global warming and pollution, and allowing the national debt to skyrocket. The Atlantic uses these words to describe my generation: “self-absorbed, self-indulged, and self-loathing.”
Am I outraged? Not at all. Are you expecting me to come to the defense of a generation that shouted “make love not war” but never lived up to their own credo? Nope. I think the critics have a point. My generation lost our way. When the last Boomer dies, the epitaph on our collective tombstone might read, “They Did It Their Way and It Stunk.”
So why did I write the manifesto? Because the final chapter of my generation has not yet been written. It isn’t over. There’s still time. Some day they will drop the last Baby Boomer in the gorund, throw dirt in his or her face, and go back to the church and eat potato salad. But that day is not today. Today we can start making a difference.
It’s that line of thinking that keeps this blog going. That’s why I wrote the Baby Boomer Maifesto. It’s because I believe the best part of life can happen after 50. This is not automatic. There are no guarentees. We will need to work hard. Someone will need to light a fire under saggy baby boomer butts. If no one else will do it, I will.
“You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world.
An elderly lady participated in a candid interview about what it felt like to know death would soon end her life. Here is the one line which sticks in my head: “All I know is that when the final curtain falls on my life, I hope people will applaud because of the life I’ve lived.”
That’s what I want for you and me. That’s what I want for the Boomers. When the end does comes, I hope people applaud and say, “Wow, what a well-lived life!”
Contrast that scene with one in a cemetary in southwestern Ohio. The funeral director asked me to conduct a graveside service for a family who had no pastor. Arriving early to meet the family, I approached the casket under the tent. I announced who I was and said, “I’m sorry I never knew her.” A family member looked up and shot back, “You didn’t miss much.”
I don’t want that said about me when I die. Would you? And I don’t want that said about our generation.
So in the manifesto I’ve tried to live up to the word “manifestum.” I’ve tried to be clear in saying we can do better. One person at a time, we can turn the Love Boat generation around and become like a ship in the Coast Guard by making a difference. You can still make a difference in this world.
To make this happen I am asking for your help. There are two ways you can help:
First, read the 1,000 word manifesto. If you don’t have a copy you can get it when you sign up in the right corner of this blog. It will take you to a page where you can read it and download it. (If you are already signed up but do not have a copy please just email me HERE and I will send you the link.)
Second, if you like what you read please share it. The manifesto ends by giving you a few ideas on how to do that.
When you join the Tribe who invades and conquers life after 50, you will make these words of John Lennon ring true:
“Well you may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.