Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Old And The Young

by Ayesha Parveen 27 Sep 2008
Category: Lifestyle.

This story has been read 4283 times.

Differences between the older and the younger generations are inevitable to a certain extent because each has its own set of challenges and experiences. However, it is often seen that these differences snowball into disregard for one another and can sometimes, unfortunately, create hostility within a family.

The younger ones bring in new ideas and the old, generally wary of change, are not receptive to a new way of life. As people age, all the more so if they get scarred by the numerous experiences they have had, they tend to lose their confidence to try out something new, as well as the courage to move beyond their comfort-zone. This might be the reason why in India, some parents and parents-in-law still do not approve of women earning or of men doing house-hold work.

The members of the older generation often complain that those of the younger generation are hasty and love to experiment with life, heedless of the consequences. This is true in some cases when young people have ruined their lives due to reckless or irresponsible behaviour. But, on the other hand, progress is possible only because some people do experiment with life and dare to usher in changes. The difference between disaster and success is in the purpose of application of that daring confidence and not in the age of the doers.

So, what can be the solution? Since both the old and the young live in the same family, trying to understand one another and making allowances for each other’s idiosyncrasies can work wonders. However, more important than that, is, in my opinion, the young realizing that they too will age some day, as well as for the old to remember their own fault-filled younger days. The young are here because the old raised them; the older generation’s success lies in making the young able to shoulder the responsibilities of life.

From the old, the young can learn universal values like integrity, patience and forgiveness which together often form the corner-stone off success in a person’s life.Other than passing down these moral values, the older generation can also provide practical help. Often we see children are engrossed in games in ‘play-stations’ which encourage violence and dishonesty. If parents or grandparents are there to give company to these children, the little ones get a chance to talk, ask questions and perhaps, also find it easier to know the difference between right and wrong.

From the young, the old can learn to welcome positive change. Often I have heard aging parents tell their children that they are happy to see the latter enjoy better quality of life and live in a more progressive society than they could themselves. By accepting change, the old also clear their own minds of out-dated customs, thwarting social-conditionings and dysfunctional norms.

Life can be said to be an ever-evolving, dynamic phenomenon. In this multi-faceted experience called life, the old and the young should reach out to one another; the old, to pass over the mantle, and the young, to accept it in able hands in order to make a better world, a new world.

As Alfred Tennyson has said in his poem, “The Passing of Arthur”:
“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”



Ayesha Parveen said...

MSN Readers' comments:

Rajesh - Hyderabad on 9/30/2008 8:11:01 PM
The generation gap is widening by the day, in the current age people one year apart face a generation gap. This comes up for 2 reasons, one an arrogance that says "I am right" and the next is when one tries to push the change down someone's throat. It is indeed as simple as that, today's world is all IT and requirements gathering is all about trying to understand the other, this is where we fail almost always. Thanks Ayesha, as always a very good one, keep writing.

Dr.P.V.Vaidyanathan - Mumbai on 9/27/2008 4:22:04 PM
Nice write up. Yes, the generation gap exists and is difficult to bridge. I only feel that the onus of bridging the gap is 75 percent on the seniors, and 25 percent on the juniors, because, seniors have themselves been juniors once and can understand the psychology and mindset of a youngster. A youngster is yet to become old, so it is difficult of him or her to understand the mind of an old person. Aging alone is not enough; along with age should come maturity, tolerence and understanding. If seniors behaved more like friends with juniors, and not with authority as seniors, things can be different. But when seniors are riding a high horse, and demanding a lot from juniors only because the seniors are old and juniors are young, then, the juniors too get angry. Both parties should try and bury their egos, and meet and interact as companions.

KP - Chennai on 9/27/2008 8:00:22 PM
It will be nice if old and young understand each other in a sprit of give and take as another reader has put it.But the old values and the old order have yielded to new things.There is no point in bewailing about the change.In a decade or even less there will be very few old living with children.The young things today are more intelligent and street smart than those twenty years back.The losers in the change are only the oldies in the evening of their lives.

Ayesha Parveen said...

MSN Readers' comments:

ranjan - N America on 9/28/2008 2:49:09 AM
You are wonderful in your expression Ayesha. This is a compliment from my heart. This article is an eye opener, if many people read them, but it is enough even if one changes in his ways of accepting or rejecting the kith and kin positively.

M.Lokeswara Rao - Bangalore on 9/28/2008 5:58:03 AM
Nice article, there will be generation gap between old and young, it is the adjustments and understanding which is most important for happy relationships, each should understand other point of view respecting values of the society.

Yunus M. Y. - Mumbai on 9/28/2008 11:45:52 AM
A thoughtful article. A little of "understanding" from both sides can go a long way. Change is inevitable and the seniors know that. They have the advantage if hidsight. But when the young (who have not seen the future) are advised and warned by the elders they should give it a patient hearing. Conflict arises when communication stops.

Ayesha Parveen said...

MSN Readers' comments:

Swetha Amit - Mumbai on 9/29/2008 10:07:00 AM
An extremely stirring article. It exhibits the gesture of bridging the gap between the two generations instead of cutting off from one another as is the case at present. It is amazing as to how much time spent with one another can teach us a whole array of things instead of being at logerheads.A very thought provoking lesson and apt for the contemporary scenario.

Sana Hashmi - Delhi on 9/29/2008 8:22:30 AM
HI!That's a nice one, especially the way you concluded.The old can be the most understanding people under the sun, it's just a matter of time and patience,which unfortunately some of us lack majorly Keep up the gr8 wrk!