Being a Baby Boomer

Sunday, February 1, 2009
A Baby Boomer Offers Her Views on Tom Brokaw’s Book “Boom!”

Eileen Lichtenstein was asked to discuss Tom Brokaw’s bestselling book, “Boom!: Talking About the Sixties: What Happened, How It Shaped Today, Lessons for Tomorrow” along with her own thoughts about being a Baby Boomer.

Not only is Boom! a terrific read, we thought Eileen’s perspective about what it is like being a baby boomer was particularly interesting and insightful.

Here’s her interview:
1. What made you decide to read Boom!?
EL: “I’m involved with this generation on many personal and professional levels. A Boomer myself, a child of the 60’s, I often reference this time personally.. I’ve always been a fan of Tom Brokaw’s reporting and sensitivity to complex issues and was interested in reading his “take” on the times. And, a large percentage of the people I coach and work with professionally are Baby Boomers.”
2. Overall, what did you think of the book And what did you find most interested in it (positive or negative)?
EL: “I commend Tom Brokaw on combining the subjective with the objectivity of a reporter to make this book a joy to read, and an effective “refresher course” on the era. I like how he divided the chapters and I didn’t always read it in sequence! I find it comforting that a mainstream, respected journalist can be so honest in talking about his own involvement in the 60’s and 70’s and finds no conclusive judgment on the era is necessary~ we each take with us our own perspective and add it to today’s mix.”
3. What are some of your personal memories of The Sixties, perhaps one or two instances in particular that best sum up your experience?
EL: “I was a “hippie”: tear gassed in anti-war protest marches while I attended SUNY Buffalo, the “Berkeley” of the East, with both SDS and ROTC on campus. I graduated with a BS in Education in 1970 and then lived and worked in NYC with my boyfriend from college, soon to become husband (we recently celebrated our 38 anniversary with our daughters 28 and 30, each visiting from Europe!) Steve and I saved every penny, had lots of cats and no furniture… after one year we packed up and traveled in Europe and North Africa for 9 months, with backpacks, sleeping bags and eventually bicycles. Mostly wonderful memories!”
4. Now that Baby Boomers are nearing retirement age, what effects do you think The Sixties will have on them – in terms of health, spirituality, finances and emotional well being?
EL: “We have seen the best and worst of times..personally and politically, no matter what we did and what our belief systems may be. We want to be fulfilled, have fun and to “give back” in our relationships, with our families, work, hobbies, volunteerism and philanthropic venues. We want to continue the trend of longevity that our parents’ generation has begun. In a sustained state of wellness, we want to enjoy ourselves and our families..and for the world and its people to live well.”
6. What is your age?
EL: “59.”
7. In what town do you live?
EL: “Baldwin, NY.”
8. What is your occupation?
EL: “Personal Performance Coach/Professional Speaker.”
9. Is there anything else you care to add?
EL: “I coach and work with many Baby Boomers. We are continuing to transition and metamorphisize in unchartered territory. We are pioneers and trendsetters..then and now~ and need to work in harmony with generation x and y for the world to keep spinning and be productive!”

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