If you're around 45 and feeling low, you've got lots of cohorts around the globe. So says Scientific American in one of its 60 Second Science podcasts, reporting on a study in the journal Science and Medicine.
People from Bangalore or Boston all say they hit the pits for a stretch in between the peaks of well-being and optimism you feel in your 20s and should feel again after 55. They found this same U-curve wherever they
went; culture, affluence, marital status all made no difference.(For text of this podcast, click here.)
I think I am going to file this snip in the bulging folder I've labeled "science confirms common sense."
According to a study recently released by the Pew Research Center, we Boomers are in a "collective funk." We are said to be more downbeat about our lives than the generations who came before and after us.
According to the Pew survey, Boomers rate their overall quality of life lower than their parents and believe it is harder to get ahead now than it was 10 years ago. We are also less likely to say our standard of living exceeds what our parents had at a similar age.
I don't know that this makes us more "gloomy." Perhaps it just makes us more realistic.
Consider that our parents reaped all the benefits of rapid American growth when the rest of the world was still recovering from all the wounds of war. The years surrounding our own birth were not only about a "boom" in babies; it was boom time everywhere in the States.The GI Bill provided college degrees that let our parents ride a wave that led to the largest middle class the US had ever known. There was low hanging fruit to be picked on almost every tree, from buying land and building things to a burgeoning service sector to an exploding market for all the new goods we were designing and making ourselves.
The largest mistake everyone made -- in retrospect -- was thinking that this prosperity would provide an endless ladder upward to more and more of the same.
What looked like a ladder was really more of a window of opportunity.