BEST THING ABOUT THE AGED IS HAVING THE EXPERIENCE. THEY HAVE SEEN IT ALL. MAY BE THIS IS WHAT INFURIATES THE YOUNG ABOUT THEIR ELDERS. THE YOUNG ARE RECKLESS AND WISH TO MAKE THEIR OWN MISTAKES. AND LEARN FROM THEM. WHEN ONE IS YOUNG. EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS UNLIMITED- HOPES, DREAMS, POSSIBILITIES, PHYSICAL ENERGY AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL THE TIME! YET YOUNG ARE IMPATIENT THEY DO NOT WANT TO WAIT FOR TOMORROW.
THE AGED HAS ONLY FEW TOMORROWS LEFT.TIME IS NOT ON THE SIDE OF THE OLDER. MORE EXPERIENCED. IF YOUTH IS MARKED BY OVER CONFIDENCE AGE TENDS TO BE OVER CAUTIOUS AND WARY.AGE HAS NO ILLUSIONS AND THE YOUNG HATE TO BE DISIIUSIONED?BOTH ARE POLES APART AND THERE SEEMS TO BE NO MEETING GROUND FOR THEM.
BUT THESE ARE TWO IMPORTANT FACES OF LIFE???
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Whenever I witness actions by teenagers that aggrevate me, I try and remember all of the stupid things I did when I was young. While life experience is an important thing, the forgetfulness of the elderly is equally troubling at times.
I agree with your statements in part, but I think there is more to it than that. Yes, the young are more reckless and the old more cautions, but there is more to a generation gap than just innocence verses experience. It think a large part of the generation gap has to do with social attitudes and changes. For instance, my grandmother would be horrified if I didn't send a handwritten thank you note and she certainly doesn't have e-mail for evites. She grew up in a different world than I did. There are subtle changes and big changes that occur from one generation to the next. The older I get, the more I notice the changes between my own generation and the ones below me. We get stuck in our own beliefs and our own social norms. It makes it difficult to accept changes as simply differences instead of horrors or disrespect.
One only need examine the Asian cultures who value their elderly for their wisdom. Since these cultures have endured for thousands of years, one can only surmise that it does, indeed, serve people well to listen to the advice of older people, who have learned from the greatest of teachers, experience. A fine example of the superior wisdom of experience and age is found in the ending of Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth as the two avaricious sons do not heed their father's caution to not sell the land.
It is true that each generation seems to have been defined by some key events. The young people today are highly shaped by 9/11. The generation before was shaped largely by the end of the Cold War, and Vietnam, World War II, The Great Depression and so on. Yet there will always be a generation gap. The issues and trends may change, but the older generation always thinks that the younger one is going to screw things up.
For some of the "older generation," the realization that there is only a limited amount of time left can be a freeing factor, allowing them to engage in pursuing activities or beliefs that may have been too much of a risk earlier in their lives. In this sense, some members of the older generation may be much closer to the youth than you give them credit for in your generalizations.
As I slowly make my way to the opposite side of the generation gap, I sometimes think that its cause lies in the inability of people to recognize the legitimacy of each other's points of view. We do not recognize ourselves in the young, and tend to think rather condescendingly about what they have to say. Older people sometimes assume that lack of experience invalidates concerns or ideas of younger people. I personally detected a strong note of this in the response to the Occupy movements. It goes without saying that younger people sometimes fail to recognize the value of experience, but I also think that sometimes experience is overrated. As a teacher, I've come across many young men and women that were far more mature (and even in some cases had experienced more of life) than just about any adult I know.
The generation gap is caused by the conflict between the life experience and responsibility of older generations the idealism of the younger generation. As we grow older and assume more responsibility, our goals change. We seek safety and support for ourselves and those we are now responsible for.
Ironically, the generation gap is most easily seen between parents and their kids. Having children profoundly changes one's outlook. We want our children to be safe and successful and that makes us push them in those directions. Children, even into young adulthood, want to explore and learn and experience new things. Often these new things do not contribute to their safety and success, thus the friction between parent and child.
I am not sure if your premise is accurate. Weren't old people young at one point in their lives in which they would know exactly what young people are going through? I am not even sure if there is a conflict, but rather not understanding a younger person's intentions or motives for their behavior. This can result from increasingly complex technology in which younger people are more adept at and older people more solidified in their own ways. Also, negative behavior on the part of the younger generation such as everything from drinking and excessive dating may cause friction between people of different generations. This would also make a great research topic for a paper.
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