Some time ago, I got to talking with my grandfather (WWII generation) about the Baby Boomers. I was somewhat surprised by his generational admission---not so much by what he said, but by the fact that he essentially said mea culpa for the Greatest Generation as a whole.
He explained to me that growing up during the Depression was really hard. City kids frequently had to keep cows and such (in the city no less) and really scrounge to make ends meet. Because of this, they really really wanted to make sure that their own kids in the future would never have to do anything like that. This of course led them to ask very little if anything of their own kids (the Baby Boomers), probably contributing heavily to that generation's narcissism. I suppose it shouldn't be terribly surprising that the Great Depression had profound psychological effects on those who lived through it. Perhaps that's the reason why most of us give the Greatest Generation a pass from the animus held against the Boomers, despite the fact that the Greatest Generation raised them. Most likely my generation would have acted similarly, given similar conditions. Depending on the current fiscal and monetary train wreck, we may well get a chance to see how other generations deal with similar circumstances.
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