The Baby Boomer Bilingual Blessing

Dec 15, 2014

We are the music-makers
And the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by the lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolation streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever, it seems.

– Ode by O’Shaughnessy

The Boomers bridge a wide and crazy generational gap. talking about the WWII/Depression generation and these XYZ-er Millennials. It’s not an easy job translating such diverse viewpoints and it hasn’t been without certain communicational mishaps. 

But oh, where would we all be without you?

You’re the generation who used a typewriter and then bought the first at-home computers. You’re the generation that fought for racial equality and watched a giant wall come down. You’re the generation that put people in space and lobbied for environmental protections. You grew up with Pen Pals and now you’re the fastest growing generation using Facebook. You’re the generation that downloads games on your iPhone for the grandkids and continues to see technology change, well, just about everything!

But you’re still the generation that sits with the elderly and can talk about the old days. You’re the ones who teach the Millennials the gift of person-to-person communication, but you’re also the generation that Facetimes grandkids that live too far away.  It could be said that in some ways, you’re the most flexible generation because after all, you’re bilingual in a way. You can speak of the past, you speak to the present, and you influence the future. 

Your job is that of a cultural interpreter. Granted, it’s not an easy job, but it’s necessary. Sure, it sure doesn’t come without frustrations. But this bilingual blessing the Boomers have moves and shakes the world. You are vital – your translations matter. Even when the old passes into memory, you carry the hopes and hearts of all of our predecessors–their stories, their legacy. Pass it on – continue being a bilingual blessing. 

 

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