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.