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The "Generation Gap"

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Today, because the whole world is caught in the same electronically produced, intercommunicating network, youth have an experience that their elders never had. They face a new era, one shaped by the Bomb, satellites, jet flight, free-wheeling technology, the population explosion, the breakdown of cities and the destruction of the natural environment.

Until recently, our elders could say, "I have been young and you have never been old." Today, the young can reply, "You have never been young in the world I am young in ." From "Culture and Commitment: A Study of the Generation Gap" 1970 (<---- And just think of how VERY much has changed even since then.)

Changing values, changing society, of course. If it is so that industrialization made society take many steps forward, it is also so that industrialization made society takes many step backward. "The ruins of a nation can be found in its homes." Industrialization and consumerism changed family and communal dynamics greatly, but this current era, the Information Age built on top of that destruction like a a farm built on top of a toxic waste site; the fruits that we enjoy are delicious and toxic. With industrialization, elders began to be valued a lot less and with the Information Age, people in general began to be valued much less. As is the case with many things, I think that we have felt the effects of this devaluation the hardest. So many things that affected us disproportionately have taken place within all of these eras. We have never been in a truly "good" situation here, but I think that most of us can look and see all of the backward steps that we have taken and continue to take in the name of" progress".

It is not at all uncommon to hear both older and younger people talking about "the generation gap". In my eyes, what so many of us from either the older or the younger generations fail to realize is that we need each other.

I think that the HNIC or the Queen B syndrome can be seen in both the older and the younger generations. However, this type of approach often does more harm than good and stretches the "generation gap" further on both sides. What, I think, we have to try harder to acknowledge is that there is always something to learn. I don't care how old you are, you don't know everything. I don't care how young you are and how much you feel that can't nobody tell you nothin, you don't know everything and such an attitude is going to keep you from learning a lot of things that could really benefit you.

There is always something to learn and instead of constantly finding excuses to not be more open to the knowledge of the older or generations, simply charging our closemindedness and unwillingness to tolerate the existence of ideas that do not necessarily fit ours to "the generation gap", why not choose to act primarily out of more respect for the "oldheads" or "youngheads" and the knowledge and wisdom that they have and its potential to enrich our lives?

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. It is also said that it takes a village to raise a child who will in turn help to raise up that village. We are currently playing in to a very dangerous cycle. Just how much has a society "arrived" when the elders are treated as if they are society's maggots? Why are most elderly people rotting away in the loneliness and the stench of understaffed nursing homes? Why is it rare for elders to sacrifice for the younger people unless their blood flows through these younger people? Where is the reciprocal relationship between the younger and and elder generations? One hand washes the other, both hands wash the face. In our case, the face would just stay dirty, because both neither hand is really reaching out to the other.

It used to be commonplace for Grandma to walk to the library and reach home safely. Now it is commonplace that if Grandma walks to the library, she just might get robbed or even raped. There is a very dangerous disconnect between the elders and those of the younger generations. Neither these days really feels a strong sense of responsibility to either.

Some older people will straight up tell you, "I can't stand kids!" As if these people have never been kids. By the very same token, some younger people will straight up tell you, "I can't STAND old people!" As if, provided that they live long enough, they will never be old people. An older person driving on the street is very much likely to get cursed out if he/she is driving in front of a younger person these days. Let me tell you something. I wish I WOULD have even bene behind an older person who is walking slowly in front of me and cross in front of that older person when I was a child.I don't care HOW slowly they were walking; I would have gotten my behind dealt with FORREAL. These days, a younger person will cross right in front of an older person even if they are on stairs. At the same time, not all of these younger people we see with their pants hanging down off them lack respect for older people. Yet the fact that their pants are hanging down will often cause the older people to lack respect for them. Things are different these days. These younger people have all TYPES of stories that many older people simply have no idea about.

I am not young; I am am young-er. I have younger people under me and I have older people over me and where does that leave them? Both worthy of my dealing with them with respect. Respect breeds respectability. No one's age makes their feces smell better or worse. Older people's crap stinks and younger people's crap stinks, too.

How do you think that we improve the ways in which we of the younger/older generations relate to one another?

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"It used to be commonplace for Grandma to walk to the library and reach home safely. Now it is commonplace that if Grandma walks to the library, she just might get robbed or even raped. "

When I read statements like the one above it weakens the whole article. Sometime please tell me where a it is likely for an old lady to get robbed or raped going to for from the library.

Plus the final question "How do you think that we improve the ways in which we of the younger/older generations relate to one another?" Is impossible to answer as so much has to be assumed. How is the relations between older in younger people measured? What standard or baseline are we comparing it to? Was relations between the generations better in the 1950's 1850's when?

At any rate, I think the relationships between older folks and younger ones declined when, culturally, we were no longer expected to respect older people -- simply because they were older. The "yes sir", "yes ma'am" disappeared in my neck of the woods generations ago, along with a respect of older people. It still irks me a little when I hear a child refer to a grown person by only their first name.

Simultaneously older people stopped respecting themselves, often emulating the behavior and dress of teenagers as if it was superior. The culture perpetuates this thinking.

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