When I was growing we used to talk about the generation gap between my generation and my grandparents. We don’t hear much discussion these days about it but I think it’s a discussion worth having.
My grandparents came from a generation that has been labelled the Interbellum Generation. This generation was between wars. It’s funny because I am not even sure when the idea of naming generations became popular. I remember vaguely hearing the term “baby boomer” as I was growing up but it was never overwhelmingly present.
I used to love having conversations with my grandma and grandpa about things they had experienced in their lives. I was in awe of how many of the things that I had they couldn’t have even dreamed of. When my grandparents were born, cars weren’t something families had. They didn’t grow up with televisions. And as soon as you were able, you went to work to help the family out. Many didn’t even finish school and most didn’t attend college.
Life for this generation was very different. And I always felt proud to listen to their stories of overcoming things and learning new things as the years went passed.
Even my parent’s lives were very different. They were a generation who knew about war and saw a real civil change in their lifetime. When my parents went to school, segregation was still the law. Imagine growing up in a culture where people were completely separated based on race and as an adult see the change that took place as those laws changed.
Change isn’t easy but it is important to continue to change to grow. Change for the sake of change is not productive. But if change brings forth growth then it is valuable. The change my parents lived through was growth change. And I learned so much about who I wanted to be from listening to their stories about “how it was when they grew up.”
I often think that is something we are missing in today’s world. The stories of the generations who have lived through things that paved our history are important ones to learn from.
Not to sound old, but, I feel the younger generation does not respect or even care about the opinions and life experiences of the older generations. The baby boomers and generation x’ers have a lot to share with the new generations. But I feel it all falls on deaf ears.
Where has the respect for our elders gone? I fear that in 10 years when I am the elder, I will be completely irrelevant.
It’s sad because older people have so much to teach the younger generations. There is wisdom that happens from living. The more years you are alive the more you understand human nature.
I also think respecting your elders is something that is taught at home.
Parents need to teach their children that older people are filled with wisdom and interesting life experiences that bring fresh views to the table. Plus, so much of our history, values, and customs need to be preserved. That doesn’t come from a book. It gets passed down through people. But if you are teaching your kids that the older population has no value, all of those valuable aspects of life will be lost.
The older generation can learn from the younger generation too. It’s important to teach your children to spend time with their elders to teach them about new technologies and current trends.
I think the main message of this blog is to show respect to those who have been on this earth longer and contributed so much to the world that has brought it to the place it is today. Afterall, it is the older generation that paved the way and let’s just say it, they brought you into the world.
So the next time grandma or grandpas starts out with, “back in my day,” snuggle in and pay attention to their words and their wisdom. If nothing else, you can gain gratitude for the life you have.