Back in the 1960s, my friends and I had thought that our parents’ generation was too old-fashioned, traditional, unyielding and not seeking to understand. We were young, idealistic, wanting to do good and make a difference to the world at large. The term generation gap was born. Now, more than 40 years later and with two grown-up children that would put them as a late Gen X and an early Gen Y, I asked them and their friends: Is My Generation So Different From Yours? For simplicity, I use a chart from the UN which depicts the four generation groups : Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y.
If you were born in the years between 1946 and 1964, you are in my generation of the millions of baby boomers worldwide. We were lucky to be born after World War II. And if you are, like me, born in the earlier group between 1946 and 1955, then we came of age during the Vietnam War era, first moon landing, drug experimentations, television, Woodstock, Beatlemania, portable transistor radios and much more… Across the world we seemed to be ignited by the same ideals and during the same wave together for just one reason – we were born at about the same time.
Our eternal gratitude to those who had fought and given their ultimate sacrifice so that my generation and generations to come can live in peace and freedom…
We, meaning my generation, were growing up and old enough during the sixties to remember the growing differences with our parents and elders and the authorities. They saw us as rebels and we thought they were too traditional and just part of the old and unchanging establishment. Problems of the Generation Gap, Parents vs Children, Causes & Effects, Age Segregation and others were, I think, overplayed and became detrimental to the building of intergenerational relationships!
Need every generation blame the previous one?
One question I often asked is “Need every generation blame the previous one, and does the previous one need to condescend to the next?” I think not in a strong way. A big NO to both the questions. I believe that we must seek to understand ourselves first and then seek to understand our children, their friends and their generation. Then we need to achieve two-way communication that must be based on mutual respect. These are the two principles to build relationships. And bridging the generation gap is by building intergenerational relationship.
Gen X , Gen Y And I…
Let Me Hear Your Stories…
I believe that there are more common grounds amongst the different generations than there are differences. I am thinking of the generations in terms of human needs, dreams and aspirations. For one, I believe human nature has not changed over time although technological changes had progressed in giant strides. And thus if we take time and efforts to understand our respective generation, build a two-way communication that is based on mutual respect, my generation is not so different from yours.
Please let me hear your stories.