When They Were 25: The Silent Generation
Okay, we’re off to a start on our series of articles about the generations when they were 25. First up, the Silent Generation (born: 1925-1945) Age: 68-84.
If you are looking for cool people with a youthful outlook and a bent toward technology to talk with, why not sit down and talk to someone who’s in the Silent Generation? They invented most of the technology you use today! There were Silent Generation Beatniks swilling strong coffee long before there was such a thing as Starbucks. True, they didn’t have WIFI in their coffee shops–so they invented it…with their bare hands.
Silent? You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it does.
In 1950 the oldest members of the Silent Generation turned 25. Nicknamed the Silent Generation by a 1951 Time magazine article that mistakenly portrayed them as less enthusiastic and significant than their parents and grandparents’ generation, the people that make up this generation are far from silent.
They were born in a very difficult time in the United States. On their birthdays (from 1925 through 1945) the country was either in desperate economic hard times or engaged in world war. Because times were tough, most families chose not to have children or perhaps could not because of war. Therefore the Silent Generation is the smallest generational cohort now ling in the United States. Oklahoma has 285,410* people in this generation.
In the 1950’s the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite and the youthful Silent Generation members took it as a personal challenge to them. That event charged them with the energy that built the new economy of America—and inspired them to work toward a future without limits or rivals. Most of the corporations and organizations that form the present foundation for the American economy and infrastructure were formed during their lifetime.
Despite the hard times into which they were born, the Silent Generation is also known as the “Lucky Generation” because they were born just in time to get in on the ground floor of decades of unmatched historic economic prosperity in America.
Life in the SBC
Keeping pace with their Silent Generation tendency toward leadership, the SBC “Lucky Generation” built the institutions of the Southern Baptist Convention . Under their leadership, the SBC was grew faster than it has ever grown numerically, from about 7 million members in 1950 to 16 million in 1996—an increase of 128%. A list of Silent Generation leaders in the SBC would be a Who’s Who in SBC history.
What’s the Silent Generation Outlook?
Not to paint with too broad a brush, but the common experiences of the Silent Generation lend a large number of them to having a similar outlook on life and spirituality. If you are involved in ministry leadership with people aged 68-84, you are truly blessed. Strive to fully appreciate and mobilize this generation of leaders in your church.
Mass Revival-Oriented Spirituality: A common theme in Silent Generation spirituality is the emphasis on returning to God en masse and reviving the collective spiritual vitality. From their youth historians have noted they have had a particular sense of dedication to the Lord that was greater when compared to previous generations.
Personal Responsibility in Context to Others: The Silent Generation believes each person should make the appropriate sacrifices to see to it that the whole group experiences success. Their ethics of combined hard work and commitment to one another have made them successful in many ways.
Take Charge Leadership: Silent Generation people know how to follow leaders. They appreciate it when someone takes the reins of leadership, provided they do so with humility and respect toward others.
Manage the Money: The Silent Generation tends to be very frugal, they prefer to review expenditures as a group and hear the justification for each one from their leaders.
Technology: They remember when you could fix things with your own two hands and they knew how to do it themselves. This is the generation with the know-how that put a man on the moon using slide rules and a computer that had less memory and computing power than your cell phone…which they invented.
*stats courtesy of Oklahoma Direct