Opinion: Babyboomers

POSTED: 10/17/11 11:53 AM

Interesting discussion in NRC Handelsblad about the babyboomers. According to Huub Mous that generation has failed. Columnist Max Pam examined that position and he concluded that so far, every generation has failed. “From the generation of my parents I inherited a demolished Europe full of poverty,” he wrote.
Pam criticizes Mous because he wrote his opinion in a denigrating “we-form” the way a pastor or a vicar would. We, community of babyboomers have lost our way, we have failed, we have a split soul, we have missed all opportunities and we are not leaving anything behind. The only thing left, Mous wrote, is to explain how exactly our ideals were shipwrecked.
Pam muses that the most primitive, but also the often most effective attitude towards the “preachers-we” is the objection: speak for yourself, jerk! If you find that you have sinned, leave others out of it. Speaking for yourself requires some courage, by the way, because those in a herd or a community who wish to speak exclusively for themselves, see themselves quickly maneuvered into a position that ends with separation. So let’s have some senseless debate first, Pam sneered.
According to Mous the babyboomers generation failed. That could very well be so, Pam notes, but if you look at the history, so far every generation has failed. Give me the generation that did not fail, and I would love to join it. From the generation of my parents I inherited a demolished Europe full of poverty. It did not occur to me to blame my parents for this in any way.
Pam wrote that he has little affinity with economists and political scientists who calculate with how many billions in debts the young generation is being burdened. If we start like that, we have to make a complete cost-revenue analysis, with the complete infrastructure, all the real estate, all possessions and all savings accounts on the debit-side. “The family dies from the top and grows again from the bottom,” poet Gerrit Achterberg once wrote.
Then, Pam places his ace towards the new generation: “I am curious if they are able to maintain the peace for sixty years, as we have done.”
How would this dicussion hold up in St. Maarten a better life for all? After the Wathey generation ( brought us cruise tourism, an airport scandal and higher supervision), and the Heyliger-generation (that brought us autonomy, more cruise tourism and plenty of rumors), the new generation is bound to take over sooner or later. How will they judge our local history, and what example will they set for the generation that comes after them?
With Pam, we are curious to see if that generation is able to turn autonomy into independence, and to turn independence into a better life for all.

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