Thursday, November 5, 2020

Generation...Generation...Generation...

From the beginning of time, the gaps between each generation (about 30 years each) have been difficult

to handle because each generation thinks, “We know better.”

I have reflected a lot on this, as I could not avoid the conflict between myself and my daughter. The conflict was not that bad but necessary because each of us made efforts to understand one another due to the simple reason that we deeply care and love each other.

Today, I would not call it an actual conflict, but there are times when each of us feels “something” is there.  That "something" reminds us both that we do belong to different generations where the other cannot live. What does that mean? It means that we simply need to respect each other’s generation and recognize the differences between them. And…these differences are good!

Why? The simple fact that none of us, young and old alike, can replicate a past generation shows that we are not robots but human beings, and unique. If we had simply repeated the lives of our ancestors, we would still be living in the Stone Age.

How do we handle the differences so that all of us are comfortable with our various inter-generational relationships? Well, respect and trust in one another will help. I do not mention “love” on purpose because too many of us are still learning what “love” is all about. But one thing I believe is, "love" starts with respect and trust in one another.

 “Mom…Trust me. Just trust me!” the desperate cry of my daughter I heard not just once but multiple times during her early adult years, still rings in my ears. I made an effort to pay attention, and one day I understood. I cannot explain to any of you how it happened because I do not remember, but one day the subject line of an email I sent to her read, “I got it.”

I got it! I finally was able to trust my daughter without fear of an impending disaster.  I think it came because I also decided to trust God. Easy to say, but not easy to do. Respect and trust must go both ways, so this would be my advice to the young generations:

Do not dismiss what the old people say. Listen to them; pay attention, for they have plenty of wisdom. Only after patiently understanding what they are saying will you have the ability to change the things you want to change and  really improve them. There are no shortcuts in life; we must learn from the past if we do not want to stay in the past.

And to the “old folks” like me, I would say:

Do not dismiss what the young people say. Listen to them; pay attention, for they have plenty of energy and ideas that need your wisdom. But if you do not listen and respect them, they will not be able to hear you. You do not really want the next generations to repeat your life and do things the way you did. They cannot. They are not re-living our history they are building theirs. But our successors will succeed faster if we are able to listen to them. And when they feel our respect, they will want to listen to us.

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