Generation Gap seems to be an issue since generations and generations. The current generation, sees the previous one as too outdated while the coming generation is seen as a bunch of crazy hopeless youngsters by the current one. In the same way, the new generation sees the current generation as outdated and the previous generation sees the current generation as hopeless crazy kids.
This seems to have been going on for generations and generations. We always see different generations having clashes over various issues. It’s very rare that we see two different generations understanding each other and working together.
This post focuses on three main principles that will help different generations in a society to live and work together for the welfare of their family, society and country.
One important duty that most youngsters tend to forget today is to respect our elders. We always hear young kids talking rudely to their grand-parents or parents. One of the most frequent words elders get to hear is: “Ki to conner toi?” (What do you know?) or “To pas conne nanrien” (You do not know anything) or even “Resse to trankil” (Shut up!). Maybe sometimes as youngsters we tend to forget that the elder person towards whom we are being arrogant are those who have lived in this world and seen this world much more than us. Even if one is not up-to-date with the new technologies, cultures and fashion the experience that an elder has acquired throughout his life is really an important foundation to living. The principles that a grand-father or a father has learned is a priceless gift that helps a young person through the different phases of life. Even if the ways of living change, principles do not change. Therefore it would be wise to listen to whatever and elder has to say, and in case we do not agree to their point of view, we humbly accept their advices without necessarily following them blindly. Nothing stops us from asking questions and trying to understand their point of view. Who knows maybe we do find something worth fitting in our new way of life.
Many of us might have come across bullies at school. Or maybe even we might have bullied the little kids. Let’s just imagine that when the kid grows up and our little brother or cousin enters the college and is in turn bullied by the one we have once bullied. How do we feel. Can we blame that bully? We are the ones who started this. Instead of bullying those younger or weaker than us, why not rather protect them? Why don’t we help them in their difficult situations? What will they learn by being bullied? Is it not better to teach someone to become a protector instead of a bully?
When we grow, those elder to us, become old. With time their body becomes weak. Let’s take our own parents for example. When we were a child, weak and defenseless, they were the ones who protected from every danger, helped us cross a road full of traffic. Took care of us when we were very ill. Fed us. Made sure that the milk that were given to us was not too hot nor too cold. They have been our support all the time. By the time we grow up they become older. They are no longer as strong as they were as an adult. It is them who need our support at this phase of their life. How can we discard those who have protected us during those moments when we were vulnerable to many dangers? The stronger we are, the more responsibility we have to protect those weaker than us, be it physically, emotionally or even intellectually.
When we come across young kids doing stupid things, or making mistakes in their lives, many of us have got the tendency to just ridicule or criticize them, but no one ever tries to explain to that kid why it is not good to do things that might make them regret afterwards. All we do is blame the young generation as they are, we complain about their inability to do things and laugh at them, but have we ever tried to show them the right path? Most of us have not even tried it.
When a child or someone younger than us makes a mistake, it is due to the lack of experience that we have achieved as elders. Even we have been at a point when we needed the support and guidance of an elder. Be it our parents, grandparents, uncles, teachers or big brother. So for us as elders, it is our duty to guide those who are lost.
As an example which is most common today, the use of high tech devices by children. We as parents are all very proud that our kids are able to manipulate these sophisticated devices. What about how they use these devices and what they do with them. Shouldn’t we also teach them proper use and not abuse. Just like we know how to light a matchstick, but we should also make sure that we use that knowledge to light a lamp to remove darkness instead of burning down our homes.
We might also not realize that if they are allowed to use those high tech devices all the time 24/7 and we do not control them, they might increase their dependency on these devices as well as become addicted to it. Any kind of addiction is really not good for health. As elders it is our duty to help them grow.
Another example is the use of language. Many parents are very proud that their children are quickly learning french or English. Using that french language the kids also get to say, “Tais-toi Grand Père!” The parents are very proud saying “Awww! Shoooo Cuuute! My baby is speaking in french” Maybe that parent does not realize that along with teaching them language we have forgotten to teach them the proper use of the language.”
Looking from another point of view. What if we are not giving good examples ourselves. Just like you smoke in front of a kid, will you be able to tell that kid not to smoke? Or in front of our own children we are rude to our parents. You are going to confuse that kid. So I would like to say:
Lead by Example
As a parent, as an elder brother or sister, if we want to teach our siblings some good values, we have to abide to those values ourselves. There are certain things that we should keep away from our children, just like medicines until it’s the right time for them to learn about them and know them so that they understand when and how to apply them.
Some parents say that no matter how much they try to make their children understand and even sometimes shout at them to make them understand. Maybe there is a specific way to deal with that child. Every child is different and he understands things differently. We should try our best to make them understand. What is most important is that whatever you do, do it with love and care and not with anger.
All these three principles, Respect, Protect and Guide are applicable to each and every individual in a society. If as an elder you do not respect other people older than you and you tend to be rude and humiliate them in front of those younger than you. How can you really expect that youngster to respect you as well. Since he really did not give a good example himself.
We always get to hear that the young generation is the future of our country but we should also not forget that the future of our country also lies in our hands.
Thus I would say:
Respect, Protect and Guide