Differences in viewpoint, judgments, and opinions displayed by persons of two different time periods, is said to be the generation gap. A cultural gap breeds in when differences in activities, planning, faith and even taste to that extent exists. This generation gap has been ever since humanity exists and has been breached over time.
However, the differences of opinions and principles have seemed to have widened in the recent past. The 20th and the 21st century have seen a tolerant amount of generation gap. Lewis Mumford, in his book The Brown Decades, has very rightly quoted that “every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers”.
This cultural gap can be bridged very well if we understand the underlying proposition of it. This contemporary gap is visible because of the circumstances one is brought up in. There are hence; a lot of behavioral, psychological and physiological changes that one goes through. It’s all a cycle, due to the different background of upbringing, the likes and dislikes also differ. This only creates a negative impact on both parties of the different generation. More than the generation gap, it is the communication gap that hinders a lot in this aspect.
There are certain ways to bridge this generation gap and live smart.
1. Co-Operation and Understanding:
Understanding and Co-Operating thereby with the tasks or sometimes even adapting oneself to that of the other member’s perception also works. Taking that extra effort for each other can also make that difference. For instance, a techno-savvy generation may find it troublesome to keep explaining things on gadgets to the older generation. Instead, have patience and co-operate, understand that the older generation never had such means to go ahead with. Do not bite that hand that feeds you. Similarly, the older generation should accept the fact that the present generation is used to the atmosphere of gizmos and hence playing gizmo-friendly games at times with them. This is the way to bridge the gap. Realizing each other’s situation and circumstance is the best solution.
2. Smooth Communication:
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. It is best applied in this case. There are no technical ways to resolve this rugged problem, but to accept the changes and communicate with each other. It is always pleasant to discuss how one’s childhood was. Discussing the various milestones they had and the most cherish-able incidents creates magic. Listening and understanding the interests each one of them has is interesting to know. It develops a bonding between the two generations. Take time off for each other. Give equal importance to each other’s point of views. Just make it a point to talk and discuss and not get into debates. It will nip the differences in the bud.
3. Build up Recreational Activities:
There are always possibilities that no two people of two generations have the same recreational choices. Better please both the choices. Take turns for your individual respective choices periodically. It could be dining out, watching a movie, outdoor activities or any spiritual activity too. It could be anything that creates the bond between the two. Don’t impose your choice. Let the other generation also enjoy their choice of entertainment. This will only build up a close relationship between the two parties and the magic wand of enjoying each other’s company will do wonders. What we call a generation gap is only an interaction gap and such activities will help to bridge them.
4. Keep Egos Aside:
This is the greatest culprit in most of the arguments. If this is kept aside, half of the battle is won. Understanding one’s own limitations and the very fact that they both somewhere and the other are dependent on each other makes a difference. Give equal importance to each other’s point of view. Respecting each other and their perspective with no self-pride makes all the difference.
5. A Good Learner, A Go Getter:
It is never too late to mend. Most of the differences arise due to ignorance and being passé. Covering that extra mile will only help bridge the differences between the two generations. Keeping oneself alert, updated is the new era demand. So be inquisitive and always accept the chance to learn anything at any point in time. If you are ready with such a passion, I am sure you will never face any generation gap ever! Learn what you do not know and keep a child’s heart! It will never make you feel alienated.
As it is said, we’re the middle children history…no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no great depression. Our greatest war is a spiritual war. Our greatest depression is our perceptions towards life. Therefore, let us make our lives simpler and happier by shedding all egos and embracing the changing time. Although you have every right to keep faith in your beliefs, do not expect others to follow it. You will find yourself in a better place. Flow with the time without any resentment and remorse. Time heals all wounds. Let it work! Keep a child’s heart and find happiness in every work you do!