Being a Daughter of the “Greatest Generation”

Tom Brokaw wrote the book The Greatest Generation in 1998. These men and women grew up in the US and experienced the Great Depression. During and after World War II, this generation stepped up to do amazing things. In the book, Brokaw wrote, “it is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced”. He argued that these men and women fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the “right thing to do”.

My dad, Robert Shultz, fought in World War II, serving in the navy on the USS Missouri battleship. When he returned from the war, he utilized the GI bill to get a university education. He then went on to become a successful businessman. Men returning from the war threw themselves into rebuilding their lives and the economy with a zest of working hard.

Baby Boomers like myself were born roughly between 1946-1966 following the war. (I was born in 1963.) The “Greatest Generation” bar was set high for us boomer kids. In some respects, that was a good thing. I learned to value hard work, education and strong morals. Sons born to this generation may have been more affected by the high bar of standards than daughters. What if the sons could not achieve the level of success of their fathers under ordinary circumstances? Is it possible that dads might look down upon their sons or boys might find it difficult to match or surpass their father’s bar of success? [Read more…]