The Cambridge on-line dictionary defines generation gap as ‘a situation in which older and younger people do not understand each other because of their different experiences, opinions, habits, and behavior’. The sociological theory of a generation gap first came to light in the 1960s, when the so called ‘Baby Boomers’ seemed to go against everything their parents had previously believed. Since then, we have had the Gen X, the Millennial and now the given. Each generation seems to be different from the preceding and succeeding generation in different aspects – some more important than others. I think all of us have experienced the generation gap in different ways and found ways of coping or not.

We think that this remains a very important element for the evolution of human society, although the term ‘generation gap’ has become a bit jaded and hackneyed and somewhat devoid of any real importance. In an increasingly confused world ruled by disinformation and misinformation, it is important to communicate with our previous and future generations without what communication theorists call ‘noise.’

There always has been generation gap since the dawn of civilization. The older people and the younger population complain of generation gap. The generation gap is the everlasting social phenomenon. Every generation lives at the certain time, under certain condition. Different generations have their own system of values and views. And every side wants to uphold principles they believe in. We can find a lot of examples in literature such as “Fathers and Sons” by Turgenev. Is it actually possible to overcome the generation gap? There is a great hue and cry raised by the elders and the young both that the communication between them has broken down. They attribute it to generation. The elders are more critical of the younger generation with a big inventory of complaints against the young and the young mostly tend to ignore the complaining, speechless and occasional loud protestations of the older generation. Parents always have their own opinion about future of their children; they want to be the example for imitation. Often, parents refuse to admit that their children have grown up and are capable of taking care of them. Most fathers want their offspring to adopt the same profession that they themselves followed without giving due weight to the aptitude of the offspring. This causes tension between the elders and the children. Moreover, every parent want to have a “perfect” child, so when the younger generations do not live up to their expectations, there can be a big problem. They have to fight for their own choice, and family become a battlefield.

The younger generation naturally differs in dress, food, habits etc, as all these were not available to the older generation. These changes are indicative of progress. With the passage of time when the society, right from the basic unit of the family through society and the entire humanity, is changing, how can the new generation be asked to move backward to the ancestors’ way of life? Traditions, culture, moral definitions keep changing. If one persists in it, one widens the generation gap and certainly has no business to criticize the youth. Those who are young today will face the same mess when they will reach their age. The tastes keep changing and no one should complain about this change. It is unavoidable and can’t be stopped. The ways people relax also change from age to age.

At least a quarter century separates the older generation from the younger one. In most cases the gap is of over half a century. Naturally an unnoticeable biological evolution takes place and the nature wants the survival of the fittest. The young generation can’t survive if it doesn’t change. No power on earth can prevent the natural gap owing to this evolution. Nature equips each succeeding generation with mechanism to survive the rigors of the new environment.

The old have to leave early after having lived their lives. They would be wise not to interfere in the pace of development of the new. It was high time they stopped complaining. The young should see this mess of the old and be tolerant and respectful towards them. It will ensure harmony in the society and add joy and peace to the daily life. But every rose has a thorn. The younger generation should also be on their guard against the evils coming in train with the fast life stress, depression, frustration as a result of a race for ascendancy shouldn’t be ignored or they can rob them of the fruit of their labor and their dreams. The young are our future, the future of humanity, of the human race on mother earth. Only they can save themselves by heeding early warning of the evils of the modern world and life based on their own assessment. The old can still tell them that they in their time faced these travails of transition and suffered now and then. They young should listen to the old but must take their own decisions with discretion and a balanced perspective. The coming generation will be better than each preceding one. The generation gap as the phenomenon won’t absolutely disappear all over the world at all; it’ll keep the civilization moving on towards a better future every time.

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