Short Essay on Generation Gap by Bunty Rane Life styles, rapid changes in Science and Technology has transformed our outlook towards life, increasing the divide, much more than it has ever happened in the past. The divide has always been there but never before has it been so wide. Life style changes with the passage of time and with a changing life style, attitudes and values also undergo a transformation. No two generations have shared the same views and options. However, there has never been a greater divide between two generations than in modern times.
With rapid changes in science and technology, the exposure, which today’s teenager is getting, is enormous. Value systems have gradually degenerated and the youth is assimilating a new culture. The result is confused parents who are unable to reconcile with the views of their children. There is a great divide between the perception of both, the young people and the adults. One finds that both are unable to communicate with each other, quite often. One of the reasons could be that neither knows what the other is interested in though they may be living under the same roof.
This gap results in direct confrontation between the young and the old. This is a universal truth which is applicable to all times be it the past or future. Shakespeare King Lear beautifully depicts this confrontation between the young and the old. King Lear represents the older generation and the younger generation is represented by his daughters. Generation gap is not only reflected in the choice of dresses but also in music, opinions and other behavior patterns. The younger generation which has acquired a different set of values rebels against the older generation as they wish to impose their own value system on them.
They resist this forceful intrusion as they are unable to reconcile with the thought of accepting what they think has become outdated. The parent’s displeasure is obviously natural as it is a defiance of their authority and the right way to lead one’s life. Parents fail to realize that the wheel of change irreversible and those, who do not move with it, tend to become disillusion aggravating conflict. The kids are moving much faster on the technologic track, as well as in daily life, than the parents.
Children, today, are capable using complicated gadgets and this phenomenon of superior knowledge children as compared to adults has never happened as much as now in 13 societies. The conflict arises when adults stick to their old ways and refuse accept any change while the world rapidly moves ahead. In short, Generation Gap is nothing but the resistance in adults to adapt| change – They forget that the only thing constant in life is ‘change’. The realization requires a lot of patience and understanding of change perceptions.
The adults need to look back, introspect and think also the differences they had with their parents. No doubt, memory is she lived and one tends to forget the past which they are fond of referring to ‘Good old days’, where they as children were obedient, respectful and servile. The gap between the old people and the young is called the generation gap. It is the difference in the attitude, priorities, and views among generations. As to the different attitude of life, the people belonging to the old generation always wonder what has gone wrong with the new generation.
They feel that during their time, young boys and girls were better behaved, more obedient and had greater respect for elders. Young people, on the other hand, feel that they are capable enough to learn on their own rather than lean heavily on the older generation for any guidance. Young people do not like to be spoon-fed by their elders. The differences also appear in some other ways. For example, the way of entertainment. Our grandparents’ generation never understood Elvis and the Beatles, frequently opposed to them, relating rock as “the devil’s music”.
They did all they could to ban rock and contraceptives, mostly because they couldn’t understand what was going on. Then came flower power and the hippie generation, who were smoking pot, protesting against Vietnam, taking acid and going to rock festivals, such as Woodstock. Essay Generation gap is unavoidable in not only extended families with many generations but also nuclear families between parents and children. A number of conflicts in a family are brought about by generation gap. In my opinion, to limit bad effects of generation gap, each family should use three following methods.
First of all, it is important that family members discuss openly about their childhood or funny and sad incidents in family gatherings. This activity does not only create a close relationship but also helps build up understanding among all members. For instance, once children are aware that their grandparents and even their parents did not have a good upbringing during their hard childhood, they will stop complaining on the previous generations’ obsoleteness. In the meantime, once old people realize young people are nurtured in a new modern way, it is easy for them to be tolerant of young people’s new habits or hobbies.
Secondly, people of each generation should not develop a very high feeling about themselves. In order to do that, they should not think that they are the only right people in their family because each person has his or her own limitation. When all members do not insist on their own opinions but listen to others, they can easily negotiate in case they have conflicting views. Also, together with keeping an open mind, each member should learn to respect one another’s good personalities.
For example, teenagers realize that their parents have to struggle with pain to support them financially, and they stop rebel against their strictness. Parents realize that their children’s new style do no harm to their study and stop imposing their own unsuitable standard on their children. In general, generation gap and its bad effects can be limited if all members cooperate to build up a close-knit family in which they are open and tolerant of each other. I strongly believe that each family, by doing that, can enjoy a cozy atmosphere with the minimum interference of generation gap.
Generation gap or a conflict between the old and the young is a topic of today. We often hear of conflict or a clash between the father and the son or between age and youth. Youth stands for adventure and enterprise. It is full of energy and enthusiasm, initiative and activities. It believes in going forward. It is not satisfied with the present. It is bubbling with new ideas. On the other hand age stands for old order or traditions. Today due to scientific development the youth have developed the spirit of enquiry and interrogation. They do not want to believe in ready-made belief.
They are full of aspirations and ambitions. They wants to go ahead not caring for the consequences. When elders advise them, they feel annoyed, murmur and complain. Youth are sensitive by nature. Old order has lost its charm for them. Established values and traditions have lost their appeal for them. They are today living in the age of enquiry and experiment. When the elder dictate to them and impose their will upon them, the youth become defiant and rebellious. They feel frustrated and discontented, when their wishes are not fulfilled.
The result is that today there is a direct clash between the father and the son. Family peace is disturbed. The society today faces a new problem and a new challenge. Life is dynamic and not static. Times change and with them values also change. The elder therefore, should change their mentality and attitude towards the youngsters. What was true yesterday is not true today. The youth are temperamentally and intellectually quite different from the elder. Every generation has its own dreams and visions—its hopes and ambitions. The old generation should change with the time.
Let them wear colourful clothes and have flowering hair like hippies. The fashions of yesterday have no appeal to j youth of today. Both the young and the old should read the writing on the wall. The generation gap is not something which cannot be filled up. It can be bridged by apathy and better understanding. Faults on both sides must be overlooked and shortcomings should be forgiven. What is needed is greater affection. The key to this problem lies in one world “Adjustment”. Parents must appreciate f children for what they are and no for what they want them to be.
The generation gap becomes wider when the elder and the younger generation refuse to understand and appreciate the view point of other. It is wrong for older generation to expect the same thing which they did to their elders. The youth today ignore the advice of the teacher and disobey their parents because their self-respect is injured. Children today enjoy those advantages which their parents lacked. A son’s ambitions and dreams may be totally different from those of his father. For instance, the father may be a practical man who liked to build memorials, but life may have defeated his ambitions.
The son on the other hand may be a poet and dreamer. The generation gap has to be bridge not by parental compulsion, but by mutual understanding, tactful handling, sympathy and understanding. The modern parent is busy with earning money. The result is that he neglects the child and throws him to the wolves. In the absence of parental influence and guidance, the youth lose spiritual ties which maintain life. The younger generation should show a deeper understanding to their elders who should turn a lenient eye on their shortcomings.
The youth must pay heed to their elder’s advice because age speaks with the wisdom of experience. What is needed is friendship, not animosity, sympathy, not criticism, understanding. To whatever generation we belong, we have to make journey from the cradle to the grave. Our elders should read the psychology of the youth and then try to deal with them, tactfully. The youth on the other hand should not cross limit of decency and propriety. There is no harm if they allow themselves to be guided by their elders whose rich worldly experience may prove useful to them.