The key to handle Generation Gap

A very self-important college freshman attending a recent football game, took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation. 

“You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one !”, the student said, loud enough for many of those nearby to hear. 

“The young people of today grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited Mars. We have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with DSL, BPS, light-speed processing …. And…” 

…pausing to take another sip of drink…. The Senior took advantage of the break in the student’s litany and said, “You’re right, son. We didn’t have those things when we were young, so we invented them. Now, you – arrogant little boy- what are you doing for the next generation?”Generation

The Generation Gap

Generation gap is always the matter of misunderstanding between young and the old. In his book, WhatsApp Chinthakal (WhatsApp Thoughts), Mr Sharlet P Mathew speaks about 3 generations, namely X, Y and Z.

  • People born after 1950 – X Generation
  • People born after 1980 – Y Generation
  • People born after 2000 – Z Generation

Which generation do you belong to? :) I think it’s true that there exists to be a gap between these generations. Gap between Y and Z would be less when compared to the distance between X and Z. I often hear parents requesting me to advise their teen age children about something they won’t listen to!

Last day, I was helping my dad to typeset a letter for one of his official need. I was typing the matter in my computer and my dad was siting next to me. As I was typing, he started to dictate to me, on the size of the font, thickness, space etc etc. I was bit irritated on the inside, because I was focused on getting the matter on to the Word file first, then set the layout at the end. There was a chance for a conflict.

I thought for a moment, tried to understand the situation better, then I got the big picture. My father was familiar only with the old type-writer process. In type-writer you can’t edit later, all you type will be instantly printed on the paper. He was thinking from that perspective, and that was why he was asking me to set the layout, then and there itself. But I was thinking from a Word-file process – type as you go, and edit later.

So, what I did was, instead of arguing and proving myself right, I tried to set the layout right then and there itself, as my dad wanted. It made my mind calm. I tried to see it from his point of view. Hence, we completed the task without much conflict 😛

It’s all about how we perceive things.

If you could just put yourself in other’s shoes for a moment, perhaps you would understand why it is not as easy as you seem to think

The genuine gap

In every relationship, there exists a genuine gap. If that gap is not wisely bridged, then comes the misunderstanding.

If it is a husband-wife relationship, the gap would be gender based. Hope you have heard about the book, “Men are from Mars women are from Venus”.

For example, if men are involved in a conflict, once resolved, we men easily forget about it and moves on, but it’s not the case with women. Even if the issue is resolved, they can keep it in their mind for ever. I heard someone saying, Men are born with basic RAM (the old model, with minimum memory). once restarted, it’s gone; but women are born with huge capacity Hard Disk. Even if it is deleted, it can be easily recovered 😛

There is a world of difference in how both genders behave. Taking this into consideration will avoid many conflicts in relationships.

Similarly, parents-children relationship usually have an age based gap, and in some cases, education gap adds on to it.

Whenever my mom calls me on phone, she is more concerned about what I ate for breakfast, how much sleep I had, how much water I drank and so on. Sometimes it seems bit irritating to answer these questions always. But later I understood that it is a global mother’s attitude 😛

Some other conflicts may be due to the fact that people from old generation wants to follow the old tradition, without any knowledge and proper understanding. But the younger generation of today is more into self decision-making with a logical reasoning of their own

How to go about these?

Here is the key – There should be a well maintained balance. Younger generation should be willing to humble themselves to think from the older generation’s point of view, and to respect elder’s point of view. At the same time, they should be able to politely communicate their understanding to the older generation. Similarly, the older generation should be willing to understand the young minds. With a proper mutual understanding and respect, I think, this gap can be reduced to some extent, thus reducing unwanted conflicts, arguments and fights.

Also keep these in mind

To the children

Childrenobey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do (Eph 6: 1)

To the parents

Fathersdo not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord (Eph 6: 4)

To the husbands

Husbandslove your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Eph 5: 25)

To the wives

 Wivessubmit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. (Eph 5: 22)

What’s your understanding on this issue? How do you handle it? Would love to know the different ways we can address this issue. Please share your views below

Pg 13, WhatsApp Chinthakal, Sharlet P Mathew

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