Sunday, July 01, 2007

Generation Gap

I wonder often about generation gap, its origin and impact.

A generation gap exists when different people (due to age, circumstances etc) have a different sense of responsibilities, privileges, values and behavior, both for themselves and for others.

I believe that these differences in themselves are harmless and what causes the conflict is duplicity of standards and applying different parameters for self and others.

In the traditional parent-teenager conflict, the parents have a different sense of what is right for them vs the kids. Its OK for them to eat junk food, drink, smoke whatever but they recoil at the thought of their kids emulating them. Same goes the other way round, if parents start dressing/behaving the way the kids do, kids would find it very embarrassing. Between siblings,
the youngsters want to enjoy the privilege of being spoilt and pampered and yet they do not want it to come with any strings attached, with any list of dos-and-donts or I-told-you-so. Elders on the other hand want the younger siblings to listen to them and do as they are told without letting them experiment and learn on their own like they did years ago.

The conflict arises when each side has a distinct image of how the other should behave and yet oddly they do not want to conform to the same image themselves. This duplicity is what causes the conflict, not the differences.


Anonymous said...

Wisdom is the key to handling this matter because even parents were a bother to their parent! Teenagers are like an egg--you hold too tightly, it will break, you hold too loosely, it may fall and break.
Rev Mutinda musyimi

Some random thoughts said...

Wise words indeed!