Ways for a Baby Boomer to be a Force for Good

Let's use our experiences to make the world a better place

The word is messed up it always has been and, I believe, always will be. Boomers can improve it, though, by using our experience and skills to make a little part of it better. This blog talks about how each of us can become a force for good.

5 Ways for a Baby Boomer to be a Force for Good

To all baby boomers; we’re never too old to be a force for good. Still, as baby boomers age, we become more likely to use the old man or old woman excuse; I’m just too old to do anything useful. Or, we think that I’ve done enough and don’t have to do anymore. I deserve my retirement, we say to ourselves. Let this younger generation handle it. There are many other excuses we float out there to justify our inaction. It’s better to retire and rest.

It’s all nonsense.

We’ve all heard the saying that retirement is the biggest killer of the elderly. Because retirement takes away our purpose, I believe it’s true. Most dastardly, it creates a mindset in us and others that we don’t have anything to offer them or the world and we would be most useful if we just got out of the way. Want a happier, healthier life? Forget retirement.

The truth is that baby boomers are never too old. Our age isn’t a liability it’s an asset that grows in value with knowledge and experience that eventually becomes a fountain of wisdom and competence and that makes us a valuable resource. Our generation is in the best position possible to be a force for good.

So, what is a force for good? By good, I mean in the biblical sense. The kind where we love our neighbor as ourselves even if that neighbor happens to be Donald Trump or, if your political preference is at the other end of the spectrum, Hillary Clinton or one of their followers or just a person of a different race or religion. Admittedly, it’s hard to do but we have the experience.

  By force, I mean active, not passive. We shouldn't wait until an opportunity for doing good plops itself down in front of us while we watch TV. That's being benign. Like a benign tumor, it seems not to do evil but it certainly doesn't do good. Benign abets evil because it consumes resources that could be consumed by doing something good. We should actively seek out opportunities to do good. In any case, what follows is applicable to anyone of any generation. Here are 5 ways you can be a force for good.

  1. Make someone, other than yourself, important in your life. If you have a spouse, he or she should be the most important human in your life even your kids. Whether you think your they deserve it or not doesn't matter. One of the greatest causes of depression is being self-absorbed.

 2. Mentor someone. Every living human needs someone of more experience and wisdom in their lives to guide them. Those are things that baby boomers have in abundance. The only condition here is that the person mentored has to want it. You can't help someone against their will. 

 3. Make a conscious effort to be kind to everyone you meet, even if they are the most obnoxious person you’ve even encountered. Some refer to this strategy as the ‘high road’. The ‘high road’ is a good path. Take it often.

 4. Donate to a nonprofit. The best good is when you give to those who need it most and helping others who have decided to take action is a force for good.  

 5. Start a nonprofit. Find a passion that can help others and organize around it.

  Whatever we do, we should do it without expecting anything else in return. Do it just for the sake of doing good. When practical, do it even anonymously and not for profit or credit.