Don’t Bag the Baby Boomers

“With the end of World War II in 1945 Australia’s servicemen and women returned and family life resumed after an interruption of almost six years of wartime conflict. Nine months later saw the start of a population revolution as childbirth rates soared – more than four million Australians were born between 1946-1961.”  (Ref http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/baby-boomers)

Most of us Baby Boomers grew up with parents who survived the Great Depression and taught us to “Waste not, Want not”, “Think of the Starving Children in Africa” etc. No one thought the world owed them a living, you got out of life what you were prepared to put into it. No instant gratification for us.

When we got our first pay packet (It was actual money in a small square packet) the mantra was, 30% for your accommodation, save 30% and spend 30%. If you couldn’t pay for it you didn’t buy it. Most of us bought small homes without the luxuries of ensuites and Family Rooms.

Baby Boomers have been a boon to the housing sector and caused industry to expand as the need for consumer goods grew. Whatever age we finished school, some as young as 14, it was expected that we’d go to work. No one had a “gap year” or spent time on the dole. When we entered the workforce we all paid taxes, some of those taxes funded the pension scheme, which allowed people over 65 to collect a pension if they hadn’t saved too much during their working life. Taxes, levies, service fees etc have increased in number and amount and Baby Boomers have paid them.

Women had to resign when they became pregnant and mothers were paid a small amount (50c – $1.50 per week per child) of “Child Endowment”.  No-one was paid any Maternity Allowance,  Parental Leave or Childcare rebates let alone paid $3000 just to have a child.

Now that we are reaching an age when medical problems are affecting many of us, “Baby Boomers” are becoming the apparent cause of all Government financial problems. We are a drain on the government coffers. Well, I think the powers that be can just pay us all the new bonuses, give us back the money we’ve paid into the Pension fund since we’re now expected to be self funded retirees and we’ll use that money to pay for our new hips and knees!

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Assumptions

Everyone these days is aware that people publishing texts online might not be who they claim to be. Those with ulterior motives can use anonymity to their advantage but the majority of people have no evil intent and it can be simply liberating.

If I publish a photo of myself it would be normal for you to make assumptions based on my age, sex, skin colour and context. A photo showing me surrounded by young children isn’t going to give you the impression I’m a microbiologist, bricklayer or Pole Dancer. Do you expect a retiree to potter in the garden, climb trees, scramble on all fours through a concrete tunnel or go Skinny Dipping? Would I be more competent using computers if I were younger? If I’m an aboriginal Australian am I likely to be interested in ballet?

Even a person’s relationship tends to define them in others’ eyes. If I refer to my wife, my husband, my partner, my lover, my congregation, my team or my community certain images and expectations are conjured up.

The reality is it’s a mistake to make assumptions about people so the anonymity of the Internet is very liberating IF you can let go your own inhibitions and liberate yourself.

Do you think you see me in the photo below? If yes, what does it tell you about me?

who-am-I