Mailvox: the endless greed of the Grasshoppers

 Anyone who simply can’t understand why the younger generations despise the Boomers need only read this email I received recently. Can you honestly read it and say you’re even a little bit surprised to learn how things went south? It sounds as if the grandparents knew how awful their Boomer children were, but failed to sufficiently account for the full extent of their wickedness and greed that is all too typical of the Boomer generation.

 I just wanted to thank you for the unique insight into “Boomer” mentality, as I never quite understood where the false sense of grandiosity or entitlement came from, but have been acutely aware of how this sense of entitlement has even found its way into the behaviour of Boomers who profess even the most “conservative” and “traditional” values. Your recent posts have allowed me to understand the behaviour of my Father, Mother, Aunts, and Uncles.

When my Grandparents passed away unexpectedly two years ago, we discovered that they put their entire estate into a trust for their grandchildren (“The Grandchildren”). In the simplest explanation, the terms of the trusts required that the income generated by the trust assets be distributed initially to my mother and her siblings (“The Children”) for five (5) years, at which point, the income and the assets, would be transferred to The Grandchildren so that we might, in the words of the trust, “settle our debts, raise our children, and carry on the legacy of the family.” This inheritance was unexpected. 

Since the death of my grandparents, life for The Grandchildren has been a living nightmare; The Children have taken the Estate to court and have, it appears, successfully invalidated the trust. To justify their actions to The Grandchildren, The Children have essentially argued that they planned their retirement on what they would be inheriting from their parents, despite the fact that they are all either very comfortable financially or objectively wealthy. My uncle actually asked me, “what is more important, my ability to pay off my house before I am 65 or your able to pay off your house when you have just started your career and have 40+ years of work ahead of you.”

I believe that The Children’s decades of materialism, multiple divorces, frivolous spending, and general arrogance have left them thinking that they are owed this, simply by virtue of their belief that what their parents owned is theirs. My parents, while promoting traditional morals and ethics, Christianity, conservative values, a “family-first” mentality, and demanding that we all go to college, refused to pay for our education, assist us with our home purchase, or any other expense after we were 18 years-old. None of my cousins’ educations were financed by my Aunts and Uncles because “we’d all appreciate it more if we paid for it ourselves.” I don’t doubt that this is correct, but we’re now all saddled with debt for an education that they always told us we needed, most of us cannot afford to buy our own homes, and all of us are shocked and confused by the actions of our parents.

This greed, and the associated anger, was turned upon The Grandchildren. Even though we are not permitted to agree to invalidate the terms of the Trust, we are now seen as the enemy. I have lost my parents to this greed, this arrogance, and this evil that they cultivated; now I have to fight the bitterness that I feel towards all of The Children for what they are putting us through, for the fact that I cannot expose my own children to the vitriol that they espouse, or the anger that is now percolating; it has been 18 months since I saw, or spoke, to my parents, because I choose not to be vilified, demeaned, or verbally abused.

The Children have always been greedy, self-important, and materialistic; now I know that we are not alone carrying this cross. I am only saddened by the fact that my children lost their grandparents the same day I lost mine.