Emma Teitel is regular columnist in Maclean’s Magazine who represents the voice of Canadian millennials, in case the rest of us don’t hear their whining. Her contribution to the December 22, 2014 issue entitled “Boomers: Do as I say, not as I did” had smoke coming out of my ears. Teitel condemns the new Ontario law that bans smoking on restaurant and bar patios and the sale of tobacco products on college and university campuses. She attacks self-righteous Boomers for instituting a “nanny-state” that selectively denies millennials and young people in general the right to pollute the open air by smoking in public spaces. She suggests we’re on a slippery slope to banning poutine and questionable choices in music.
Well. My dear. First of all, I applaud your activism. It’s refreshing to see young people look up from their smart phones long enough to notice the world around them and voice an opinion on something they disagree with, however misguided the issue may be. Not everyone has a worthy cause comparable to ending the Vietnam War or furthering civil rights. And no one understands better than Boomers the high that comes from the freedom of leaving home for university, college or a job and finally being able to make our own bad choices about how we spend our recreational time. While we also learned to drink, smoke and otherwise break the rules of the establishment, we were never so stupid we required puke suits. Gotta make a parent proud to see their young ‘uns going to the hospital to have their stomachs pumped so they don’t die.
And as for smoking, who is leading the charge for legalizing weed? You got it—Baby Boomers. We learned that taken in moderation and eliminating the criminal element, it’s not so bad. And it has been proven to have medical benefits for people who have seizures and chronic health issues. Personally, I don’t like the stuff for the same reason I don’t like liquor or tobacco and I’ve had my share. I hate not being in control of my mind and body and the possible repercussions of same.
I have yet to understand the benefits of cigarette smoking or drinking yourself into oblivion other than we learn from our mistakes. Sitting at an outdoor patio on a beautiful sunny day next to a table of smokers infringes on my airspace and stinks up my clothes. I agree there are a lot of things wrong with our world and our laws but this new law is not one of them. When workplaces, elevators, movie theatres, airplanes and restaurants became smoke-free I was ecstatic. For the most part, smokers have been very respectful of the rest us by taking their dirty habit outside and around the corner. Just like most dog owners considerately pick up after their pets when they defecate in public spaces.
As Boomers we have made our share of mistakes but ultimately we’re all trying to make the world a better place one step at a time. Hopefully, our activism on sexual abuse and equal rights will produce some productive outcomes before we depart this polluted world. In the meantime, take your dirty habits around the corner and don’t whine to me about your rights.
For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess, birthday or Christmas gift. Click on this link: http://www.amazon.com