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Posts Tagged ‘Baby Boomers’

I am usually known as an encourager, although from time to time I have been known to really wallow in pessimism and have one absolutely *terrific* pity-party with anyone and everyone invited.    But with the overwhelming, frequent soundbites each day of the “free-falling economy,” the “downward spiral on Wall Street” with “no end in sight, ” it’s sometimes difficult to keep a positive outlook.

I’ve thought a lot recently about something Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his first inaugural address in 1933:   “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”    Fear is palpable in our country right now, especially in the media who feeds it to us daily on a frequent basis.

Yesterday, thankfully, I read something so encouraging about one CEO’s decision to not give in to the mindset espoused by the media that I wanted to share it here in hopes that this choice might spread rapidly across our nation like a virus.   It already did there at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

All it takes is one person making a conscious decision to look for an alternative to layoffs,  being willing to give up something in order to help out others in jeopardy of their livelihood,  asking other workers to come alongside and share with the load of keeping everyone employed.

paul-levy-beth-israel

Read about President and CEO Paul Levy’s alternative to layoffs here and how his staff responded to his request for sacrifice.

Their response, in my opinion, is akin to the actions shown by my grandparents’ generation in the Great  Depression when extended families and neighbors reached out to help each other when there was a need.

It reminds me of my parents’ generation – the so-called Greatest Generation – when they came together as “one nation” in World War II to fight to preserve the sanctity and safety of their families here at home.

It’s about time that my generation – the Boomers – gets off their collective blessed assurance and show that we are capable of  carrying that same torch to keep our nation whole and healthy as our parents and grandparents before us.   Our children and grandchildren deserve no less.

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Those strollers just keep coming!

Those strollers just keep coming!

 According to Sharon Jayson of USA Today, we are just now beginning to experience what experts are terming a “boomlet” akin to the Baby Boomers of the 50’s and 60’s of which I am one.  

A record 4,315,000 live births were recorded in 2007, a significant increase over the past few years.  It hasn’t been this high since 1957 – 51 years ago! 

The 2007 numbers are attributed to a “perfect storm” of factors: more immigrants having children, professional women who delayed childbearing until their 40s, and larger numbers of women in their 20s and 30s in the population, keeping the fertility rate high. The average number of births per woman was 2.1 in 2006, the highest since 1971.

“We have three different phenomena around birth happening at the same time,” says demographer Arthur Nelson of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Ronald Rindfuss of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, family demographer, makes an interesting point and says there is a bigger question looming than who’s having kids.

“From the perspective of schools that have to educate these children, this is a real increase in the number of births and something they’re going to have to deal with,” he says.

I know over the past 25 years that my husband has been teaching in the City Schools of Decatur, we have seen the enrollment numbers drop through the years, seen schools closed and school communities consolidated into fewer neighborhood schools, and now, over the past several years, seen the enrollments begin to climb again.

Are our schools ready for this kind of influx? 

To read this article in its entirety, please visit USA Today.

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