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Why this Generation Gap?

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

A generation is usually 24 years apart.

People complain endlessly about the generation gap, but no one can quite explain the phenomenon.

First we have to understand that the gap comes not from age put perspective. How we look at life and in which direction.

The older generation have already traversed a significant way over their life's journey. A significant portion of their life lies behind them. Life for the older generation tends to be historical and mostly filled with reminiscences.

The younger generation have yet to live most of their lives, and hence looking ahead their focus of life lies in the future. That is why they tend to dream and fantasise and are usually idealistic.

This is why they see the world differently, this is essentially what gives rise to the generation gap.

Greater the age difference between generations greater is the gap in perspective.

The elder generation maybe less modern but has experienced more and therefore understands more.

The younger generation on the other hand, because of educational, travel and technological reasons know more but understand and appreciate less.

We overvalue intellect and experience, and undervalue understanding and respect. Both experience in elders and knowledge in youngsters makes them arrogant and arrogance only distances us from ourselves and from others.

Gaps in understanding and appreciation between two individuals is only natural, but when the gap is perceived as being an obstruction or a hinderance the generation gap can be exasperating and painful.

It is not experience nor knowledge by themselves but values, appreciation and respect that seam together generations. irrespective of age and time.

The generation gap is always tumultuous. Usually the elder generation lacking will or strength usually surrenders to the wishes and demands of the younger generation.

The generation gap can never be fully bridged but it can be narrowed, if the elder generation keep itself physically and mentally fit and intellectually abreast with modernity. Rather than demanding blind obedience from the young, it is better the elder generation leads in closing the gap, because they possess greater understanding, love, patience and guile than the younger generation.

I recall, at the beginning of our careers in our family business my younger brother Parvinder telling our father, "Father, I can't live my life through your experiences, I must be given the opportunity to learn from your life and try out my ideas and succeed, by learning from my own mistakes." Father agreed and backed off.

I too adopted the same philosophy with my sons with good success.


Interesting info: The first month of the new year as per the Gregorian calender January, is named after the two faced Roman God Janus. One looking towards the past and one towards the future.


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