Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hug A Boomer Today: Reflections on the 50+ Generation and Its Value

The weeks around Passover have proven to be major nostalgia time for me. Perhaps typical as people reflect on both the Jewish people's collective story as well as their own personal stories. Much of this has taken place on Facebook where I have reconnected with a number of acquaintences and friends from my Chicago youth as well as from my early professional days in Atlanta.

As we reflected together, the life journeys showed the same range as the number of possiblities for the path of the Exodus from Egypt. Some of us took a fairly straight route to our futures, while others detoured. We have been sharing our personal and professional success stories, as well as our stories of frustation and setbacks. And of course, bragging about our children.

What emerges from the conversations is a clear recognition that we bring to the conversation something we did not have when we first know one another -- wisdom. Mind you, we were all fairly smart people, raised in middle class families that were better off financially than the generations that came before. We all did some professional education or college, with some of us racking up several degrees along the way.

But the education and book smarts did not appear to be the source of the wisdom. The wisdom we found was borne of the experiences and bumps that life has given us. It is an education that no one can buy, or even plan for. It just happens, like life does. And our society, including our Jewish community, needs to figure out what to do with what boomers are bringing to the table.

Here are a few places to read about some big thinking about Baby Boomers:


http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/chc/reinventingaging/Report.pdf - A Harvard study on civic engagement of retiress


http://www.hr.com/SITEFORUM?&t=/Default/gateway&i=1116423256281&b=1116423256281&application=story&active=no&ParentID=1119278171815&StoryID=1119655933781&xref=http%253A//www.google.com/search%253Fhl%253Den%2526rlz%253D1T4DKUS_enUS252US252%2526q%253Dboomers+mentoring%2526start%253D20%2526sa%253DN - A great piece on how boomers can be used as mentors in business

What do you think?