GENERATION GAP

 

What is changing?  Who is changing?  Is the child changing or the parent?  Who is bringing about this change?  Son, daughter, parent, teacher, school, society or someone else?  Who is responsible for bringing about these changes and who is monitoring it?  Please give it a deep thought.

Most of the people from middle or upper middle income strata express their views more on this issue.  Their work is to compare and comment all the time.  Compare the past with the present, me with my son, teacher and his student and this comparison has become a regular and continuous process in our life.  This is the class who does not go to vote, does not come forward for any social causes and concerns, never cares for others.  We all speak and discuss about all burning and current issues and keep on passing the remarks each minute.  Our common phrases or topic of talks or views are like:  “It should have been done this way or that should have been that way”.  Our generation compares the children and starts saying that when we were children, we never did this and look at this coming generation, they want to do this this….. .   We are not satisfied with our generation and don’t trust the young and new generation, we criticize our older generation too and pass remarks like:   “These older persons don’t understand our problems and impose their will on us.  We don’t have time to die and these oldies don’t understand it.”  So, we are never happy and never satisfied with the generation older than us and our younger generation.  What is happening to the society, where are we heading to, what do we want from our life, what do we expect from others?  We don’t realize but cursing each other continues.  What do we need to do to be satisfied or to be contented?  We want good parents, good friends / colleagues and also good children/students. Are we good?  Can we get it?  If yes, than how?  This churning of thoughts is taking place in our mind and is not acknowledged to others.  So, obviously, the solution would not be with others but has to be found out from within?  Are we trying for this?  Are we prepared to change or we just want to change others?  Certainly, we can’t change others then why this frustration?  Why not try to bring change within us for the better adjustment in life? 

We should devote a few minutes to meditate every day to think on these issues.  We must realize that no money, no material can get us peace / contentment or happiness.  Comparing all the time will create confusions and upheaval.  So, stop comparing, things will improve automatically.  The repercussion for this are intolerance, short temperedness, aggression, instant reaction, not ready to listen to NO from any one elder / younger same generation / colleagues.  Our ego gets hurt easily and we don’t want any value system which we do expect others to follow.  We set guidelines for others not for ourselves.  We search for short cut paths, play cheap tricks in our life.  Society is changing every moment.  Who will regulate and monitor it?  We don’t want to follow the values attach to it, then why will others do so?

When a child takes birth in our family, we celebrate it with fervour.  Gradually when the child grows, we appreciate all the actions of the child; when the child starts going to school, comes in the contact with others, unknown persons like teachers, peers etc, he /she gets influenced by them and may display some behavioural changes which he/she has not shown earlier, we start reacting / commenting on his/her action and behaviour.  This is the time when parents should cautiously watch the child, try to check him/her and say NO for certain actions.  Parents use NO when child is around 10-11 years of age.  It is late.  Now, very careful handling is needed.  Your unconcerned-attitude or your over concerned-attitude will spoil the child.  The day is not far when he may turn rebellion / pampered or stubborn.  His performance also drops.  In the early classes, class teachers also evaluate the child lightly, he gets motivations and parents take it with pride and appreciate the child more than the need but as studies go higher, the teachers also start testing the content with more seriousness then the child who gets support and guidance from parents does well  and the one who is not looked after by parents shows deterioration.  Now, showing anger on child rather than coming to school and talking to teachers is not the right approach.  Parents, here fail to play their judicious role towards their child.  Most of them have reasons like we are busy, we are working day and night, we get tired.  How can we help the child when we have not studied these subjects etc?   Such mindsets create chasm between the child and the parent.  Also when parents abstain themselves from going to school it creates a gap between students and teachers.  Is this generation gap or generation change?  But as per me it is a gap created by parents or teachers.  The same, on many occasions, I have communicated to you through emails, write-ups and also during the personal interactions with many of you in my office.

We all work very hard for our family and specially for the betterment of our kids and their future but don’t realize that the family needs time not only money to understand each other.  For relation building, emotional bonding, personal mutual care & Concern; common discussion, time sharing listening & talking to family members are must, Otherwise,   We will repent for the increasing generation gap which we have created.  As per me, it is parents who added up to the so-called generation gap.  I advise parents to equip themselves with the latest technology and its use specially the use of computers, laptops, smart phones etc.  We fulfill the desire of our kids by giving them costly smart phone (which accordingly to me is not required) and we use outdated instrument / mobile.  The child operates I-Phone and you don’t know its operation then the child tags you as old generation or inferior generation.  Some times when we are not able to operate on these appliances, we too feel awkward and children rate us illiterate persons.  It is not that we can’t learn but we don’t try and fall short in the eyes of our children and become a reason for increasing generation gap.  Readers, just think please, who defines generation, who is governing the generation of our kids.  Is there anybody who is guiding them against us?  Generation is made up of individuals and one younger individual is under the influence / guidance of one’s family only.  I can’t understand the blame which we aged people throw on our kids.  When no one is doing anything to them then who is influencing them?  Peer members?  If peer members then who is controlling these peers?  We and parents like us only, then why this hue & cry for gap?  If only peers are influencing each other and have edge over parents and teachers then we are failure as parents and teachers. 

When good schools try to modify the actions and behaviour of the students then most of the parents defend their wards which in due course of time will spoil the child and create problems for parents. 

I know many families from lower income group or illiterate families.  Most of them have safeguard their values, culture and face no generation gap.  All grand children, children, family members sit together almost every day, celebrate festivals, perform rituals, follow customs etc and children learn all these things with the family members.  You can’t see this kind of phenomena in our families.  So friends, the gap is not because of our younger generation but because of us.  We have to bridge this gap by giving time to our family members whether elder or younger and learning a few things of new era from our young generation.

This is not impossible.  I know many families in Haridwar who give time to their children and also to their elders are not facing these problems of generation gap.  In this type of set up Grandparents learn many new era things from grand children and also grand children learn many old traditions, cultures from their grandparents or parents.  In this kind of scenario, I understand, wellness becomes illness when ‘We’ is replaced by ’I’ hence, shun your ‘I’ away and curdle the values of ‘We’ and the family.