Baby Boomers: A generation determined to be seen and heard –– Boomers Leading Change


By Barbara Raynor, Boomers Leading Change, East Denver LIVING WELL Magazine

Have you ever felt invisible?

A few weeks ago, I learned of a man who felt his full head of white hair rendered him invisible in a crowd of people, many of whom appeared to be younger than he. This person was clearly an accomplished man, a distinguished man, a smart man, and most of all, a man who was not yet done being seen or heard, regardless of his age.

When I heard his story, I felt sad. How disheartening it must be to work hard and contribute much throughout your life, yet still feel invisible in a room full of people who—like you—are committed to making a difference in the world.

While this man was not a Baby Boomer, his sentiment echoes how some Boomers are beginning to feel these days. Throughout their lives, Baby Boomers have served as society’s generational “movers and shakers,” due in part to their sheer numbers (78 million born between 1946 and 1964), as well as to the sense of optimism and can-do spirit with which they were raised. Not only have they redefined what life looks like at each stage of their own lives, they have helped redefine what life looks like for other segments of society, as well, by serving as the engine behind some of the most significant social and cultural change ever to take place in American history.

Baby Boomers began coming of age at a time when the United States was in the midst of great turmoil—and they have begun coming of “retirement” age at a time that is equally tumultuous.  Yet, despite the fact that one Baby Boomer turns 65 every eight seconds (a rate that will continue until 2030), this, the most affluent, best-educated, healthiest generation in American history has maintained its collective desire to contribute to and make a difference in the world.

So hang on to your hats, people. Boomers are determined be a force to be reckoned with in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond—and will continue to be both seen and heard—gray hair, no gray hair, or no hair at all.

Barbara Raynor is the managing director of Boomers Leading Change in Health, a ground-breaking grassroots effort dedicated to improving the health—and access to healthcare—of people across metro Denver by mobilizing Adults 50+ as volunteers.