If you're sick of reading stories about 60-year-olds who have just worked harder than you (and were given every advantage in life) in order to own ten investment properties simply off the back of their hard work and nothing else, let comedian Lucy Valentine soothe you with this inspiring story of a boomer who has instead worked hard on something even more rare: feeling empathy.
Lucy Valentine

21 Apr 2017 - 12:48 PM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2017 - 12:52 PM

While many of Australia’s Baby Boomer generation say they simply worked harder than everyone else and deserve every property they own, 58 year old Craig Erickson is bucking the trend – he already boasts 14 instances of empathy for human beings with less advantages than him in life.


With his already impressive portfolio of self-awareness and a genuine desire to see life from the perspective of others, the ambitious boomer is looking to add at least another 2, maybe even 3 experiences of genuine compassion to his list over the next few years.



In 2012, after conducting extensive research into the basic numerical facts and statistics surrounding the realities of home ownership for today’s young people, Craig was able to express compassion for the first time in a modest Facebook comment about the relative ease with which he and his wife purchased their first home at just 23 years old working in unskilled jobs.


“Anyone can do it if you’re willing to put in the hard yards,” Craig explains. “You can’t expect to live some lavish lifestyle spending all your money on investment properties, you need to suck it up and make a few sacrifices. I chose to go without any investment properties, instead just living in the one home I own for shelter and security, and now look at me: I’ve got enough concern for the basic needs of other human beings to set me up as a decent person for the rest of my life.”


“I mean, my first expression of understanding the plight of a less fortunate generation was done from an outer Melbourne suburb without all the mod cons. I didn’t expect it to happen at brunch in Fitzroy surrounded by all the latest technology. I started small.”



“I did have a bit of help from my parents, but not much. They were smart with their assessment of the world around them and able to rationally interpret objective facts, and they instilled a keen sense of kindness in me at a young age. But it wasn’t handed to me on a platter, the rest of my ability to empathise with those less fortunate was something I worked very hard on.”


Eight months after his initial experience, Craig was able to use the positive psychological effects as an aid to his next occurrence of compassion. Today, Craig’s 14 experiences put him at a huge psychological advantage to most others in his generation, and at just 58 he knows he will never again have to experience the usual day-to-day stresses that come with being a selfish, morally bankrupt human being.


“My first tip for other boomers looking for my kind of success is to do your research,” Craig advises. “One of the biggest mistakes older people make is attempting to enter the realm of being benevolent without first doing their research about median house prices, incomes and cost of living. Don’t go expressing an opinion based purely on indignant feelings about how hard you worked alone, being well-informed is critical.”


“Secondly, be willing to compromise. You’re not going to be Nelson Mandela your first time. Just focus on getting a foot in the door, and attempting to be a selfless human being in any way you can. Especially if you can identify a psychological area with growth potential.”


“And lastly, just stop whinging and get on with it. Every generation has it tough. It just so happens our parents were probably too harsh on us and promoted the virtues of violent physical discipline and emotional distance, so we struggle with giving a shit about anyone but ourselves. But it’s never too late to suck it up and stop feeling sorry for ourselves.”



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