Young people resent we Baby Boomers for the perceived advantages we benefited from such as free University tuition and grants to cover living expenses.
They forget that our parents were survivors of World War 2 and some of us grew up in pre-fab housing built to replace the bombed housing. Whilst my mum was a stay at home mum like many others of that time, she would take care of the children of neighbours who were working mums. There wasn’t day care or the other necessities for women to work.
Thanks to the provision of tuition fees, many people were able to return to education after they had served National Service, and families who had never had the opportunity for further education saw their children graduate.
The employment available following University or college expected us to start at the bottom on minimum wage then work our way up through the industry.
I feel that my generation aspired to a better world. CND protested outside the bases which housed nuclear missiles across the UK inspiring future generations to take to the streets in their protests against the pollution of the planet, in order to protect endangered species and bring equality to minorities.
Here in the UK, we elected our first female Prime Minister, a woman who came from a working class Northern family. She bulldozed through men’s dislike of upsetting trade unions in order to close coal mines which relied on underground mining. This caused great division across the UK due to the damage to communities who had relied on the industry for over a century. We now understand that the health issues were not limited to the men employed in the mines but the wives washing their clothes and babies coming into contact with the dust.
Medical science improved with Magnetic Resonance imaging revealing health problems previously not visible. The first test tube baby was the start of great strides to help couples with fertility problems. Women gained the freedom of choice regarding pregnancy with the availability of the pill and legislation allowing greater access to abortion.
There was recognition that people needed to take greater personal responsibility for their health and stop smoking cigarettes.
Pastimes such as rock climbing, hiking, surfing, fishing and white-water rafting were accessible to a greater proportion of the population. Families could enjoy foreign travel thanks to the introduction of Jumbo jets able to travel trans-atlantic and across Europe and Asia.
Environmental issues were brought into the public domain. The use of fur for fashion was abolished and for the masses, synthetic fabrics for fashionable clothing made style affordable and reduced time needed for cleaning clothes.
Time-saving home devices were being introduced which heralded the possibility of women returning to work after marriage and childbirth. Equal pay was introduced but not always implemented.
Let me remind you of some of the Baby Boomers, the post-war generation, without whom, the TikTok fans of today would not enjoy the means to view or record their clips: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the founders of the Apple computer company, Bill Gates and who anticipated a need for software to run the new personal computers.
The entrepreneurs and visionaries of the 1970s were the forerunners of the technology taken for granted today.
Progress requires young people to use their mental agility to develop more than ageist humour to entertain the idle Trust Fund Kids.
If I write this essay in 2040, I hope there will be as many developments benefiting mankind made by the Gen Z.
With every advance of mankind, new demands become evident.
Medical science needs to find cures for Motor Neurone disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and other conditions where the nervous system degenerates. Genetic conditions such as enormous range of Muscular Dystrophies.
The wide range of brain degenerative conditions which seem to stem from circulatory problems to areas of the brain. Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers, Dementia.
Innovations in the transportation of goods and people have been ignored due to capitalism and reluctance to replace vehicle manufacturing industry. With cities introducing Ultra Low Emissions Zones, the penalties of redistributing goods from central distribution depots to businesses within these zones make the introduction of drone distribution or robots a more cost effective despite the initial investment costs.
The introduction of cable car public transport systems for cities was proposed over 30 years ago but shelved for reasons of cost. These ideas should be explored in the interests of reducing the cost of maintaining road surfaces exposed to wear and tear from heavy transport and winter weather. The increased safety to the public no longer at risk of collision with vehicles.
Greater exploration of our planet has long been overdue, but the difficulties of deep-sea exploration have proved more problematic to scientists than space exploration. The use of probes to map the ocean floors in the same way we have launched them across the universe would give us information and data to consider the options for food harvesting in the oceans.
The wasted use of agricultaral land, particularly here in the UK for solar farms should be resolved. More sophisticated domestic solar panels and greater storage capacity of the energy produced.