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SHARMILA DASGUPTA

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 7/15/2016 |



As per Cambridge Dictionary, Generation Gap is a situation in which older and younger people fail to understand each other due to their different experiences, opinions and behavior. It is a perceived gap between the young and the old. Several factors attribute to this gap such as, languages spoken, technological advancement leading to influences, workplace attitudes, and generational consciousness and so on.

Though the term Generation Gap is widely used today but I think it is old wine in a new bottle. The great epic Mahabharata shows us that the Kauravas were yearning for power irrespective of their father’s wishes though they had strong sense of duty and affection towards their parents. Kauravas thus went against the wishes of their father who could not restrain his sons to wage war against the Pandavas! Ramayana on the other hand personify the Aryan culture where Rama and his brothers were men of loyalty and honour, sons willing to make sacrifices for the sake of virtue against evils of greed. But Rama was quite independent while choosing Sita as his wife without the knowledge of his father!

Values, ideologies and individualities form a distinct character for each generation that we must readily accept. It is necessary to maintain an effective communicating system so that all are well connected and well heard!

We, in our times, may have observed a certain code of conduct around our parents. My parents were conventional people who could never think of challenging the social and cultural norms. I, as a kid, also accepted their ways without challenging it. But, as a mother, I have parented in a different way by giving my children the freedom to distinguish the good from bad with the reasoning we have imparted to them.

In my opinion, all of us must, gracefully, accept that each generation experiences different mental and physical maturation that leads to new set of values along with a change in their attitude or behavior.  To combat this gap, as is rightly said, it is important to communicate with the previous and future generation. For instance, an older generation may think that the Peepul tree is holy but a younger generation might reason that it is holy because it gives out maximum amount of oxygen during night!

 I also want to share my sweet, evergreen mother-in –law’s experience here. Being a teacher by profession, she aptly understood the only way to reach out to her grandchildren was through communication. But how? So, Instead of feeling left-out or unappreciated, she started using her ‘tablet’ in order to stay connected with them. She has effectively adapted herself to the changing times and bridged the ‘gap’.  It is commendable for a 92 year old to have mastered a technology so ahead of her time. So one may infer that it is a matter of will power that ensures a healthy relationship. It is not only the duty of the older generations to adapt but also of the younger generations, to put in efforts to comprehend the former’s way of life, to respect it and to make them feel more welcome into their life.

It can be quite difficult for veterans to accept and adapt new techniques and ever-changing ways of life. The younger generation must also keep in mind that they owe a great deal to the previous generation. There are certain areas where science and technology fail but the knowledge and experience of veterans can lead youngsters to success.

The solution to Generation gap can be viewed as a mutual give and take between the generations. Attitudes and perception have gone through a dramatic change. As the older generation fears to take up the challenges of the transformation, the younger generation too must also realize these transformations can very difficult to undergo. In the age of globalization, where there is tremendous change noticed in every sphere, disputes can break out over the littlest of things. So forming or maintaining relationships and communicating play a pivotal role in understanding each other’s ideology. Digital methods of communication are a blessing in disguise to connect with people living far away.

I was amused after reading an article about a nursing home in Netherlands which, in lieu of rent free apartment’s for its students, are trying to nurture fruitful interaction between the students and the senior citizens. Students are supposed to volunteer a minimum 30 hours per month to watch sports, celebrate birthday, keeping company during illness and times of distress. Don’t you think this is an excellent way to exchange your ideas?

Generation gap, as natural as it is, will stay in some amount but we can take baby steps to narrow the void to bring ourselves closer to each other. As Deal said that miscommunication and misunderstanding is fueled by insecurities and desire for clout. We seldom like change but we must be willing to acquire new styles. Wisdom does come with age that are again valuable especially when you face unprecedented failure! Thus it has been increasingly seen and felt, that you have to part ways with few things to get certain things.


[SHARMILA DASGUPTA]


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