07 September 2006

The Kind of Slow Death I Like

A few folks have sent me a link to The Baby Boomer Death Clock. Even the fellow who put it up emailed me:
Hi Chuck,
I thought you might find www.boomerdeathclock.com funny. Better get marketing, we're dropping like flies. Seriously though; the death and dying industry must be set to make a killing on our generation! Pun intended. - Jim
Some people find the Death Clock humorous, some are offended, some simply shrug. When I first saw it I mildly chuckled - but it wasn't long before I realized how inspirational the clock is. Looks like we'll be around for a very long time.

The biggest shock for me was how many Baby Boomers are still alive. I don't sit around thinking about these things - but if someone had asked me, "What percentage of Baby Boomers do you think have died?" I probably would've guessed about 20-25%. I find out from the Death Clock that only 6.5% have passed away. That is truly astounding. Compare that to previous generations over the last few hundred years. Thanks to all sorts of health/medical practices and advances, we'll be the first generation in history to be huge, vital and active after age fifty (and this isn't some guy wearing rose-colored glasses talking). For the next quarter-century Baby Boomers will continue to be on the cutting-edge politically, culturally, artistically, economically. Add this to what has already been accomplished over the last four decades (a good resource is Leonard Steinhorn's book) and Baby Boomers will end up being the most influential generation since … the generation that came of age in the 1920s?

On topic: We'll certainly be the first generation over forty seriously targeted by marketers and advertisers (if they're smart). Again, Baby Boomers will be a major economic force for another quarter-century, minimum.

But the real legacy may be our influence on the Millennials (born between 1987 and 2000). They're already showing signs of rebellion, rejecting authority, thinking for themselves, redefining social structures, breaking taboos. The best part: they are the most ethnically, culturally, and religously diverse generation ever — adding to the Baby Boomers' penchant for inclusiveness. Our most potent legacy could be our grandchildren. My hope is that they outshine us in every way.

Take a look at the Boomer Death Clock again. If you ask me, it's barely ticking.

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