1943 - 80,677
1944 - 78,090
1945 - 78,974
1946 - 97,446
1947 - 108,853
1948 - 104,195
1949 - 106,601
1950 - 108,708
According to Canada's Year Book (publication of Statistics Canada), the second wave of the boomer generation happened between 1948 and 1950. You can see it is significantly larger than the early boomers born between 1945 to 1947. Add the seniors who recently immigrated from abroad or from other provinces and you've got an ever larger population of elders to consider today. The demographic difference, “the second wave” of boomers, will affect this community in a few years when this aging generation begins to have increased health care needs. What will be the nature of our communities? Will our economic, social, and health care services be adequate to sustain a larger senior population?
We already know some critical facts to guide us in the next 30 years. The workforce will decrease in size. Increased government costs to serve a doubled older population will impact businesses and GDP (gross domestic product). I read that Toronto housing prices will double, and there will be a need for a more robust social security safety net. Of course, all this will transpire in the political arena and hopefully we will elect leaders who can deliver results in the people's favor.
While I am not into predictions, I believe the future is still only an illusion, and we always support the past by our unconscious minds. As part of the Second Wave generation, we are still aware of what is going on around us. Some of us are often horrified, by the gruesome graphic images that we see every day. This exposure results in a desensitization, and we may become more apathetic about our surroundings and what is going on in the world at large. We tend to revert to what we know or knew, couching in what we understand or understood while deflecting change for a more traveled path of least resistance. How do we as Seniors become better prepared to face the future and its certain surprises? The secret might be to change our personal approach to life and living.
Eckhart Tolle, a well-known author, and a teacher asks his readers if they are ready to make the switch from "thinking to awareness". He shows how easy it is to stop the painful thoughts of the past and the worries of the future from dominating our conscious minds. He suggests that we simply pull ourselves into the present moment (what is happening right now) away from the emotions we are feeling. Simultaneously we become observers of our thoughts and feelings rather than identifying with them. I have been following this particular teaching for a year now, and I often feel a stillness and a deep euphoria when I am in the present moment. Some intellectuals will find these exercises difficult because they will want to make it into a thinking process.
Meanwhile at the political level of things, a whole group of experts is hired to make a plan that will accommodate the Second Wave generation as it rolls into our community with force. Those that can plan for this will create a long list of tasks, recommendations and infrastructure followed by a flourish of self-congratulatory speeches over their expert preparedness for tomorrow's challenges. But then all we have is a collection of thoughts based on assumptions — some true, some not so true. It is still limiting, labeling and mostly devoid of creativity. Other lessons will direct us to our deeper awareness and Truth. Our thought forms might focus on "I need", "I want", "I must have", "not enough". But no person, place, or worldly property will bring contentment or peace of mind. I hear the biggest complaint will be illnesses created by loneliness.
If the second wave exists it will change this community. How will you meet it? ©
- Vernon Jones. Image cropped from "Illumination" (based on West Wales used with permission) 150cm by 450cm
- Tolle, Eckhart. A New Earth Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Vancouver, BC Canada: Namaste, 2005. Print.