“Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving forward.” -- Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein has an excellent point – life is a balance. I remember as a child Mother would say “life isn’t fair.” I’d say, “Mommy, how can you say that?” In my mind, we had rules and we had to obey them. The rules applied to everyone equally. She’d reply, “It comes with age.” Now I get it!
We grow up with rules learned in school, home and church (be it Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu). All those rules are built on the tenet of being fair to others and yourself. Two that come to mind are the Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule. Examples are, Do unto others as you would have them to unto you. Thou shaltl not murder. And thou shalt not steal. Then we mature and find out that The Golden Rule often means: He with the gold, rules.
It also turns out there are different types of stealing. It’s OK for the hungry man to steal bread to feed his family; it’s not OK for Madoff to steal money from extremely wealthy people. It’s OK to murder in self defense, but it’s not appropriate to murder if you simply want your husband dead. The rule is the same, but the punishment depends on specific facts.
Boomers are famous for pushing the envelope and breaking rules. We were the hippies, the peaceniks, the anti-Vietnam protestors and the wild ones who didn’t trust anyone over 30. I remember being in high school in Singapore after the first of the Boomers began breaking societal rules – the government came down hard on all residents. No more blue jeans, no more long hair, you were executed if you were distributing drugs, and publicly caned for a myriad of petty crimes. In Singapore, the rules were paramount, and several Americans were caned, and deported. In the US we tolerate civil disobedience, but not in Singapore.
Boomer women also began forging new traditions and breaking the glass ceiling. Carly Fiorina was the first female CEO of a Fortune Top 20 company. She did not inherit the business from family; she was chosen from her Hewlett Packard peers. As we watched President Biden (Greatest Generation) address Congress, he had two women behind him. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Greatest Generation) and Kamala Harris (Boomer).
Boomers are still pushing that envelope. We are not retiring, we’re working until we decide we want to quit. Turning 60 is not the end of life, it’s the beginning of a new era in our lives. We are still on that bicycle, balancing and moving forward.
About H. Frances Reaves, Esq.
A graduate of University of Miami Law School, Frances spent ten years as a litigator/ lobbyist. She founded Parent Your Parents to assist seniors and their children through the myriad of pitfalls and options of "senior care".
If you have any questions or comments contact Frances at firstname.lastname@example.org