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Lucky Generation?

I have recently often heard how the generation of people born in the decades after World War II – often called children of the ‘baby boom’ – are especially lucky, particularly compared with those born, say, 20-25 years later, and (in some cases) ‘undeservedly so’; is that really true? Certainly, my generation (born 1951, in my case) has indeed been lucky: once conceived, we were quite safe (today, there is a good chance that the abortion industry would get you), we missed the war and national service, got free grants for higher education, and were able, in many cases, to ‘get on the property ladder’ around the late-1970s, when the housing market (and much else, economically) had not turned toxic and mad. In our early years (if no longer now, when we most need it) the National Health Service was in a truly healthy state, not suffering from the present crisis.

Later generations have not had these good things – but why, exactly, was this? The truth (which you won’t hear from any politicians or media-people, of course) is that we emerged into a world which had the right values, concerns, standards, and priorities; we, and society, were products of a civilisation whose laws and institutions were still the product of the Judeo-Christian tradition which had produced that civilisation in the first place. The fact that later generations of people were not does indeed mean that they were largely victims, not directly responsible for their plight. They did not deserve what they were born into; but that does not make the ‘advantages’ of the boomer generation ‘undeserved’ We (the last generation, it has been said, who attended Sunday School) in effect ‘did things right’; most of my contemporaries created what I will dare to call a real – conventional, God-instituted – marriage (which in most cases has lasted), much that we gained we worked hard for (a remnant, we are often told, of the old, despised ‘Protestant ethic’, now ditched). We behaved rightly, honestly and honourably, for that was how we and our forebears had been raised, values which came from a source that hardly needs mentioning (well, it does, actually: the Judeo-Christian faith). But our Sunday School values and ways were thoroughly trashed by politicians, media people, and others, in the thirty years following about 1965. The traditional (ie. Judeo-Christian) marriage, family, and childhood were jettisoned in favour of the domestic chaos that fills our television screens, and pitches so many young people onto the streets, homeless and unwanted, if they were lucky enough not have been destroyed in the womb in the first place. The remaining idea/ideal of sexual fidelity, however much unobserved, was wantonly trashed in favour of the ‘liberation’ which has produced so much heartache, and destroyed so many lives (particularly of the young). Worst of all, perhaps, is the assurance of ultimate purpose (perhaps if, most reasonably if, promised for a future life) which was replaced by the ultimate hopelessness of everything which materialism (all meanings of that word) ensured. Hopelessness is the evil that most crushes the young. Of course my generation was extremely lucky, and that of our children unlucky, but it must be remembered that many of these changes – away from the ultimate-safety which God’s commandments and laws promised, and delivered – were done intentionally and knowingly.

May 2018