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A Thank You Letter to the Boomers

Sitting down outside to write

Dear Boomer Generation,

February 26 was National Letter to an Elder Day. The normal celebration entails sending an elder a handwritten letter of love, but there are approximately 76.4 million Baby Boomers, and I just don’t have quite enough postage or construction paper to reach all of you at once. Still, because there’s an awful lot of Boomer bashing that happens in the world, you deserve a letter of thanks for once. BestLife Online identified 17 ways baby boomers changed the world. Here are the ones for which I, a millennial, am especially grateful.

Thank you for making the roads safer.

Yours was the last generation that could bounce around in cars without seatbelts, and that is a great thing. As you came of age, you made sure every car was required to have safety belts installed, and in 19… you made wearing a seatbelt the law. As a result, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 1975-2008, you saved an estimated 255,000 lives!

Thank you for travel.

Image: Saish Menon

Some of my best memories as a child are long drives to visit places around the country, and that is thanks to your enthusiasm for the road trip, and travel in general. Because of you, my generation is more inclined to get out of their natural environment to explore someplace new. All of that travel is making us better people, too, because travel makes us more empathetic.

Thank you for the Internet and personal computers.

It’s because of innovative thinkers in your generation that our world is so much smaller and connected to other people, experiences, cultures, and viewpoints. Technology increased exponentially under your creative watch.

Thank you for volunteering.

Sure, every generation has its altruistic leaders, but your generation really led the charge when it came to contributing to a national and global cause. When JFK established the Peace Corps in 1961, thousands of letters poured into Washington from young adults who wanted to offer their services around the world. 

Thank you for furthering the march toward justice.

Your generation took the next important steps toward equality and justice for all, making a way for future generations to continue to build upon your efforts for justice, including gender equality, protection and rights for minority populations, and outlawing discrimination on the basis of disability.

Thank you for standing up for peace.

Your war protests demonstrated that it’s possible to both love your country and disagree with your government’s decisions on going to war. It was your generation as well that ended the Cold War. As a peace loving Millennial in a peace loving church tradition, I am grateful for your bravery and courage to stand up for what you believed.

Thank you for caring about creation.

Your generation spearheaded the first significant efforts to reduce the damage humanity has inflicted on our planet. Your environmental activism spoke out against air and water pollution; set up laws to protect oceans, streams, and water sources; launched environmental justice initiatives to protect all people regardless of race or income; made recycling a mainstream activity, and more. And Earth Day began under your watch! Thanks for Earth Day!

Thank you for extending life expectancy.

Life expectancy in the United States increased 30 years in the last century, and your generation is expected to live even longer than your parents. Advances in healthcare, exercise, nutrition, and more make it possible for an increasing number of people to enjoy an active, full life, longer.

Thank you for your legacy.

Because you’re living longer and with more vitality than your predecessors, you’re also spending more time in retirement thinking about the legacy you’ll leave and how you can still make the world a better place, and I think that’s kind of awesome. I hope that other generations will see your drive to continue contributing to the betterment of culture and society, and take up the task as we step into your shoes.

To the personal Boomers in my life, I adore you for your ongoing pursuit of the truth and your efforts to keep expanding your heart, despite the tendency for many to become set in their ways. Your compassion, willingness to allow Jesus to keep pruning you, and desire to continue growing closer to the Lord are inspiring. Thank you for modeling the kind of humility and faith that produces good fruit.

With love from a Millennial,

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