When the elderly strike back
I am a member of the “5060 generation,” which is made up of people in their 50s and 60s, with two children in the “2030 generation.” As soon as the election was over, those who were for and against the winner began fiercely arguing over the outcome. Young voters had said, “Let’s send our parents off on a short getaway in time for Election Day.” And the older generation responded, “Let’s hide the voter registration tickets from our children.” However, if the new administration shows a sincere will for national integration, the temporary after effects of the election should subside soon.
I have learned one thing from this election. The 5060 generation is not a minority. While people in this age group are not considered “senior citizens,” I was concerned whether I would soon be useless.
The advancement of medicine has extended the average lifespan, so I was worried about the long days ahead of me. But now I see that we can still be useful in many ways, just as we played a key role in the election.
It is not easy being a minority in an organization. Everything revolves around the tastes of the young people. On television, we only see young celebrities. I become disappointed when I go shopping, as fashion trends today cater to the young.
But one thing in particular is strange: the population of the 5060 generation is the largest. We are healthy, energetic and financially stable. So why is the 5060 generation forgotten? We have been working hard all our lives, so why should we be so passive after retirement? Why don’t we have our own entertainment channels?
Members of the audience at musicals and operas are mostly young. But in other countries, young people are too busy at work to enjoy such things, and the retired generation in their 50s, 60s and even 70s make up the majority of the audience at these performances. Do we have to stay at home and watch the shows with music from decades ago? One time I went to a club in Hongdae to enjoy music, but I attracted so much attention throughout my stay. I liked the music, but it was no place for me.
A few days ago, I found a perfect concert for my age group. The band has been formed with the best musicians in their fields, including Bae Su-yeon, Shin Hyeon-gwon, Kim Gwang-seok, Lee Jeong-sik and Lee Han. They are alums of He6, the Shin Jung-hyeon Band and Shinchon Blues. I am so excited that the 5060 generation gets to enjoy our own kind of entertainment.
The 5060 generation has more time and money for culture and leisure than the young people who have to be at work. There are enough people in this age group to change the outcome of an election. And we are enthusiastic and energetic.
We are not lonely anymore. Let us all play together.
*The author is a guest columnist of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Eom Eul-soon