Baby Boomers and Millennials: Why Can’t We Just Talk?

Baby Boomers and Millennials have a lot to be angry about.  Millennials blame Baby Boomers for eating their lunch.  They can’t afford to buy homes (unless they have wealthy parents) because the Baby Boomers got there first and drove up the prices.  Now they’re subsidizing their retirement by renting out rooms on AirBnB.

Boomers blame Millennials for inventing AirBnB and turning their beloved urban villages into transient hotels filled with strangers who smoke pot and play loud music late at night.

Millennials claim that Baby Boomers feather their nests with Medicare and Social Security which they (the millennials) will never get.  Boomers complain that they’ll never be able to retire because  they’ve spent their savings putting their Millennial kids through college.

The Blame Game

Baby Boomers blame Millennials for coming home to roost in their parents’ basement and acting as if they own the place.  They expect mom to do the laundry, stock the refrigerator and do the cooking;  in addition to giving them free rent.

Millennials blame Boomers for pushing them into for-profit colleges which don’t provide them with real jobs and  for creating government loan programs with high interest rates.  They say they’ll have to spend the rest of their lives living in their parents’ basement in order to pay off their debts.

Baby Boomers blame Millennials for having poor work habits and for mocking the virtues of responsibility and accountability.   They’ve even made an ironic verb for “adulting.”

Millennials claim that Baby Boomers don’t realize that their work life is 24/7.  If if they take time out to walk the dog, it’s because they’ve got to stay up until 2 in the morning,  to write that report or budget or proposal that’s due next day at a meeting with their boss at 8 am.

Baby boomers trash millennials for being ignorant, selfish and cheap; for killing the retail economy by buying everything on-line.  Millennials turn it around and say, “Look who raised us!”

Talking Across the Divide

So what can we do to get beyond blaming one another—besides blaming Donald Trump?   How can we open up an honest and open conversation across the generational divide?  Where do we begin?

Your comments and thoughts appreciated.  

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