We all know what a mess the JW "generation" teachings have been. But, there is one hard and fast truth concerning JWs and "generations" - that is, that many generations of JWs have died without the realization of the hope they were promised.
There were many before my grandfather's time, but I'm going to start with his. His generation, his peers, lived at a time when JWdom was exciting, bold, confident, seemingly deeper and scholarly, seemingly genuinely concerned about the preaching work and saving lives. There were exciting district conventions with deep discussions at hotel poolsides at night. The end was near. The great oracle (F Franz) was still alive, the publications were deeper, etc. But..... the years dragged on and nothing happened, and they all died. My grandfather and the last of his peers are gone - either rotting in the ground or sitting in urns as ashes. They're gone, and JWdom is nowhere near what it used to be.
My mother's generation will be next. She is about 80, and her health is starting to deteriorate. I can't think of many of her peers who are still around.
And next... my generation. I believe many on this site are in my generation. I'm approaching 60. I believe that my generation is the last one that will remember the old book studies during which we studied the deeper, thicker Franz publications. We can remember the old times - the exciting times - the deeper times, but we'll be gone relatively soon, and there won't be anyone around who can remember the old times - the old JWdom. I talked with a 30ish JW in a parking lot in the last year or two (posted about it on this site); she didn't even know who F Franz was.
It's so sad, but true. Many generations of JWs, probably including a lot of good, well-meaning people, have died disappointed. I am disappointed, often depressed because of the hopelessness. I have little hope now. I don't want to grow old and die. I feel that I'm becoming less and less useful to society and more and more viewed as being old and the on the way down. What happened to those happy times when JWdom was exciting and I thought I'd never grow old? What happened to the exciting district conventions in big arenas where we thought we might get new info about the imminent end? I can still remember the fruit bags and the chatter during intermissions. But, it's all gone... gone. JWdom is a joke now.
So, the JW "generation" teaching is a joke, but one true thing about "generations" in JW land is that generations of JWs die without realization of their hope. How sad.