Young Millennials have earned themselves the "selfie generation" label with their nose and smiles to their phones. These young people keep residence with their parents well into their twenties and postpone the settling down thing in order to establish their career and travel.

Grandma and Grandpa watch in dismay concerned that "Tweet" may mean something naughty and defending their contributions!

This week I asked my college Intro to Health and Fitness students to submit a paper to me answering the question: Why is your life worth the deliberate and consistent effort to stay healthy? Upon reading the varied responses, it became quite clear to me that this Millennial Generation values health quite differently than their predecessors.

Boomer Selfishness: My gross judgement of the Baby Boomer generation is that they have neglected their health, are massively overweight, and are expecting the Millennials (or any other younger generation) to be financially responsible and inconvenienced for this. This criticism comes from my decades of experience as an Occupational Therapist. Most if not all of the Boomer patients seem entitled to their Medicare coverage paying for the medical intervention given to treat their preventable illnesses and diseases or "Lifestyle Diseases". Yes they paid in, yes they could have taken care of themselves and avoided Lifestyle Diseases. The stats from the Heart and Stroke Foundation seem to back my opinion:

This sort of health behavior causes heart attacks, strokes, orthopedic issues and more. The Boomers obviously haven't listened to Michelle Obama's lessons and feel entitled to burden the Millennials with their unnecessary health issues. Besides, they raised the Millennials, right?

Abating Millennial Selfies: Millennials have earned the reputation of the "Selfie Generation" (take away final e and add sh). Seems valid. When reading the papers I assigned, I learned that the Millennials have closely observed the health habits of the Boomers and value their own personal health. They still eat unbalanced diets with pizza, ice cream and a lot of PBJs. They also choose to ride their bikes instead of drive. My favorite quote from the stack was, ""I couldn't think of anything more selfish than to put my loved ones through trouble and misery just because I failed to take care of myself." Our health is a moral and ethical dellima that can rob people of their time, energy and joy; not to speak of breaking the 7th Commandment, "Thou Shall Not Kill". The Boomers selfishness in their health issues has and will defiantly rob the Millenials of financial capitol and other resources. However, I believe Boomer Selfishness will ultimately bring authentic social capitol to the Millenials through a situation that will require empathy, patience, and reason to get their nose out of their phone. Boomer Selfishness will Abate Millennial Selfies.

There are 83M Millenials and 74M Boomers which means there will be plenty of help to take care of the debilitating Boomers. Obese patients do require 2 people to safely transfer in and out of a wheelchair or bed. I suppose if the Millenials are still living at home by then, it would be more convenient to take care of mom and dad. It takes a lot of humility to admit that the greatest lesson you gave your youth was through your faults or mistakes. I don't know that the Boomers will embrace this realization. If you are a truely a healthy Boomer (not a part of the 80% disillusioned ones who think they are healthy), my apologies for harping on your generation and I ask you to share this with your Boomer peers. These Millennial values might virtually be healthy for them!

For the record, Tara is a GenXer!


Tara Galles

Tara is the founder of YOGATHEA® inspiring others to "Breathe the Peace Which Transcends All Understanding - Mind + Body + Spirit” through Christian Yoga + Meditation DVDs, CDsInstructor Training Program, and Women's RetreatsTara currently resides in Kokomo, Indiana with her husband and 4 children where she practices Occupational Therapy and has made peace with the snow.