August 10

What Do Baby Boomers Know About Relationships?

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Sex, Security and Society - Baby Boomers Revisited

Sex, society and security was an article I published a year ago in dharmaholic.com. In it I describe the ways an alcoholic runs into trouble. This happens when (not IF) his basic instincts to procreate, be safe and to socialize go awry.

It is a common-held belief in the recovery movement.

How does this tenet apply to the average man in the street? More particularly, how can we view the ageing population - the Baby Boomers. How has sex, security and society done harm? What is their position in society now? 

Buddha says that we all have two desires - we all want to be happy and free from suffering. In this quest we have certain instincts that will help and hinder these objectives. This is the human quest.

Somehow, we have to ensure the survival of the species and fulfil societal demands. And not get too neurotic in the process. Our huge brain is an asset and a curse.

Life Inspiration

From the beginning of life we detect signs of how to socialize. Thus we are a product of our genetics and environment.

The 75 years since World War Two have seen the most rapid changes in human history. The adaptation of the humans that grew up in this period has rightly been problematic.

This flowed into the way they have raised the proceeding generation and so forth.

For most, the standards of living around this globe have increased  Yet our statisticians inform us that the rich/poor divide has increased. Not all agree.


Some Positivity - and yet...

Dr. Steven Pinker (above) has made a memorable video presentation of how life is so much better for us all.

One of the negative consequences of this growth in lifestyle is highlighted in the International Panel on Climate Change reports. Climate Change has now been accepted.

It poses a great risk to this 'apparent' high standard of living.

Younger people will point the finger of blame at the post-war generation. Though not without due cause, casting blame is not the answer.


If it is the fault of the Baby Boomers it was also they that advanced the technology that may lead to salvation too. The baton is passed. With the challenge accepted changes must be implemented.

But how does this all relate to the human condition and the status quo?

My point is this: 

We can accept that we are more similar than we are different. Then, some basic generalizations can be made.

“We cannot change anything if we don’t first accept it”, Carl Jung said — and “Anyone who takes the safe road is dead”

Accepting that-

  • we all want to be happy and free from suffering
  • sex, security and society are basic instincts
  • we will survive these current challenges

-how are we to view the impact and role of the Baby Boomers?

Relationships And The World

Let's look at the relationship that most of us aspire to - 'marital bliss'.

married couples hands clasped on a beach

Photo by Wilson Sanchez on Unsplash

Happiness is all that newly-weds see on the day of betrothal. Then..

  • For most of us, it's all hard work from there.
  • We aim to please the other.
  • The problems that arise are handled in compromise.
  • We seek counsel from other couples and our mentors or parents.

Isn't this a microcosm of the greater relationship that we have with others and the world? We just don't often think of it this way.

To simplify, there is Me, my Dearest, the others, and the World.

In concentric circles expanding outwards, this is the sphere of influence. It all begins with me.

Herein, I maintain is the crux of our collective and individual problem. We are not focusing enough on where the problems lie. We try to have too much influence on the outer circles.

Buddha's Wisdom

Buddha has a simple system for focusing on what is important called the Six Perfections.

  1. Giving
  2. Patience
  3. Moral Discipline
  4. Effort
  5. Concentration
  6. Wisdom

Each of these is simple and vast.

To focus on these six attainments can lessen one's load each day and increase one's efficacy at the same time. It's a simple technology. Of this, most people are unaware.

There is an excellent tome by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, "Eight Steps To Happiness". It provides a bounty of useful suggestions of how to put in place this strategy.

"Everyone wants to be happy and no one wants to suffer, but very few people understand the real causes of happiness and suffering"     geshe kelsang gyatso

But I digress.

I posed the question, "how can we view the role of the ageing population known as the Baby Boomers?"

Let me propose an answer for your discussion and rebuttal.

Baby Boomers are Survivors

The Baby Boomers have survived and thrived in the post-war era.  We inherited a world at war and bequeathed a planet reaching it's limits of human consumption.

We got 'A's' and some 'F's' on the report card.

We have also given birth to a generation of technologists and spiritualists.

But our time is not up yet. There is more to do.

more tips for happiness for baby boomers here

In concentric circles expanding outwards, this is the sphere of influence. It all begins with me. Herein, I maintain is the crux of our collective and individual problem. We are not focusing enough on where the problems lie. We try to have too much influence on the outer circles.

Click to Tweet

Giving Millennials Inspiration

I said to my partner just last night, "Geez it's hard growing up at this age!". The difficulty for a single BB'er may also reflect the larger picture of the Earth and it's human tenants.

Remember, we are all interdependent.

Consider: a consequence of this fast society is that we either err in

over-dependence

independence or 

co-dependence.

It's very easy to be a little off-kilter.  Parents and teachers are imperfect and the world is moving a million miles an hour. 

The symptoms of this maladjustment are addictions, distractions, avoidance, and other reactive behaviors.

Millennial couple laughing and kissing

Photo by Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash

The Antidote - More Positivity

The antidote, in my humble opinion, is the advice of Buddha.

We can learn to stop our reactive symptomatic behavior and go within. (meditation)

There is a chance that we can move forward with the love of a newly wed. (loving-kindness)

In ever increasing circles of influence, our inner peace and positivity towards others can make a profound difference. Here are four tips:

  1. Maintain a vigilant eye for over-dependence, co-dependence, over-independence
  2. When possible meditate on inter-dependence
  3. Cherish others - loving kindness
  4. Be patient. Have a peaceful mind

The past 75 years has been a rollercoaster of a journey. For the riders of that particular journey it's been fun, and hard and sad and destructive.

It is what it is. The beautiful thing is that there are beautiful Millennials to help us get out of this shit-storm. We can only pray and hope - and love.

many thanks
mike


The Stylish Baby Boomer Generation

There are so many experts available to all of us via the internet and in our communities.

If you were born between 1946 -1964 you have seen a lot already.

Today, you can make the intention to live the rest of your life to the fullest for the benefit of all. By paying attention to the small things that are within your control - eating, thinking and exercising - you can show the rest of them that living long is not a chore, but a choice.

Join other Baby Boomers receiving the 'Stylish Generation' newsletter. It's not just about me either. Each week you will get a collection of hints and gifts from around the world to make life in the second half magnificent.

Tags

baby boomer, buddhism, love, meaning, relationships, spiritulity, success


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