Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?
The general that is immediately older than my generation is on that has seen so much change. With the increasingly more technologically-advanced world that surrounded them from the 60s onwards, my parents have experienced the first mobile phones, thousands of different politic figures, genocide, disasters, even whole countries changing through conflict, politics and wealth. In a way, looking at ourselves is like looking at the effects we’ve made as well. So looking at the previous generation to mine is like interpreting a whole lifetime’s worth of experiences, just by the mannerisms and appearances of those people.
Elders of communities have always been seen as a source of wisdom and information. Even though the previous generation to mine may not be quite that old yet, they are still older and wiser (hopefully) and we can look to them for aid and comfort when we need it. They are role-models and wisdom treasure-troves, however the people of the same generation who we don’t think of similarly can still be sources of learning. If they’ve made a mistake, we can learn not to make the same one ourselves. If they are unkind to people, we can be there for them.
The younger generation is one that is growing up in a world of change, although most of us do not fully understand and/or appreciate just how much. Today is a time of change, yes, however it is different to the times of the previous generation, and this makes it both more interesting and difficult for us. But that’s the way it’s always been. We have a duty to become the fountain of learning for the next generation, the younger generation. We must accept the role of being the older generation, for the next generation’s sake. We must make the right decisions and be the best that we can. That is age.
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