Comment: Kids, don't judge us all by those wealthy boomers, writes Rob Rattenbury.
It has at last been identified by economists, high-profile media jocks and politicians of a certain age that all the world's problems are the fault of people born between 1945 and 1964, commonly known as "the baby boom generation" and not so lovingly referred to as just "boomers", "sad old boomers" or the ultimate in put down from those who know everything about anything "OK, Boomer".
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The hurt cuts deep. These people are our children and grandchildren and it is clear that they do not love or respect us anymore.
I enjoy and admire my children's generations, "Generation X" and "Millennials" and am really enjoying my 2-year-old granddaughter's generation, so young that apparently they have not got a moniker yet.
Us boomers are now old and the world belongs to the young. We must remember that when we get a bit cry-baby if Chloe Swarbrick and her young accomplices give us the flick off. I am sure Chloe and her young very clever friends love their parents and grandparents as much as we loved ours.
However being young, stroppy and aspirational, while needed in our politicians, journalists, high-profile commentators, and policy-makers does not bestow the right to generalise about a whole cohort of now elderly people approaching the last years of their lives.
Not all have done well. Many live in absolute poverty with bad health and loneliness.
Not many of us own multiple properties, investment portfolios and travel internationally every year.
Many "boomers" never economically survived the massive changes in New Zealand during the 1970s and 1980s when there was huge unemployment after successive governments pruned the public service to the bones and privatised and sold off everything that could be got rid of.
The 1987 crash removed much of the real wealth some boomers were just starting to accumulate on the advice of economists and money dealers. Many never recovered, marriages failed, homes broke up and careers were ended.
The thing our young leaders need to remember is we were a very different breed socially.
Many, if not most, married very young, usually a year or two out of college. Not that many went to university in my day.
The ones that did however could receive a bursary. The then-education system was highly competitive and skewed to about the top 5 per cent to 10 per cent academically being able to enter higher study after college.
The rest of us who left school without gaining what were known as University Entrance and Higher School Certificate, that being by far the majority of my generation, found paid work and just got on with life.
There were cadetships and paid training opportunities such as nursing for those interested and academically qualified to undertake, leading into possible life long careers in the public service, nursing, the military, the police and the media to name a few.
Some private companies also offered cadetships. Those that showed promise could attend university as part-time students, paid for by the employer, whilst also working and being paid.
Upon leaving school I worked as a factory hand earning $48 in the hand per week for a 50-hour week. When I started a cadetship this dropped to $22 per week gross. We were taught that to succeed you had to strive, something many did of course.
First homes were a challenge back then, but yes we could get in a basic first home of our own in a dormitory suburb or provincial city for about three times the median salary, a bit different to today.
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What was sobering however was the interest rates. Paying up to 21 per cent and even higher for a first mortgage meant that both partners had to work to just survive. If a second or third mortgage was needed life was really grim.
Enough of that. Generation X and our dear young Millennials are the best-educated New Zealanders yet.
They are individually and in small groups, delightful company. They are witty, polite to us old fossils, laughing at our grumpy rants and ways. They think they invented sex so are shocked when they hear what we got up to as kids.
They are the future of our country and, sadly, our planet so we just need to let them get on with it.
Enjoy your retirements boomers, most of you worked very hard for what you have, whether a lot or little.
Life was very cruel to some of us and very good to a few. Kids, don't judge us all by the wealthy boomers, judge us as you would your parents and grandparents.
Most of you will have heard the family stories of going without, lost jobs, broken marriages and also the good stories of family times, simple holidays and enduring friendships.
Be kind kids, we are only people.