The generational “generation” fault

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There are many universal common themes. In almost everything there is something common universally. Even in phrases. Couple of such common phrases are “in good old days” or “the golden times of ours”. It brings the memory of years gone by period gone by and yes, many a times family, friends and relations gone by too.

One thing that is constant is the change. Life changes. Ways of living life changes. However, these phrases got stuck. As a child I remember my parents telling stories about their childhood which normally would end with “oh those days were different”. It indeed would have been. To imagine when bicycle was a luxury to our generation when probably a Fiat and then Maruti car was a luxury to a radio was a luxury to our generation where colour TV was one.

I am now talking particularly of the generation of people born in 70s and early 80s. As mentioned above, all generation feel they are different, however this generation of 70s and early 80s are very different in many ways. This is however limited to a larger extent to Indians.

This generation (I will take the liberty to say as mine) has seen the most in recent times, maybe post-Independence or World War 2. We have been part of revolution in technology to trade to lifestyles and most important in moral ethics and principles of life.

In terms of education, we, as in my generation, have realised the importance of education beyond the usual perimeter of Engineering and Medical Science. We were the first to sit in front of computer to learn, we rebelled to wear jeans as a normal wear, we changed the concept from getting a Government job is life’s biggest achievement to slog under pressure in private companies for job satisfaction. We conquered Silicon Valley, we actively participated in revolution of laptops to mobiles to apps to zipping in those dream cars in Indian roads and in abroad. We changed the thought of our parents that settling in a different city in India or in Europe or US is same, in case of emergency it will take same time to reach them. The list is endless.

We also brought in change in moral ethics and principle in life. We were the first generation who thought of concept of old age home (in mass scale). We were the first ones to use technology to participate in family functions virtually which otherwise with little effort was possible to be there physically. The immediate excuse always is kids’ education, difficult for them to adjust hygiene of small town and so on. The excuse to our kids was office work, expenses and yes can’t bear those cousins small talks. We pretended to be the intellects. We thought our horizon is bigger because we crossed the continent or living in cosmopolitan city of India. We thought independence is about having your own flat (in India and in abroad) than living together even with parents. We had the money to splash on this. At time ridiculed our previous generation on how we fared better than them.

In reality we did much better, but did the dust of concretes and electronic gadgets strengthened the opaqueness of our heart and mind in feelings? Did we really fare better in emotions? Were my parents really fool to let me play with a bruised leg on holidays because I had just a month with my cousins or was I too medically correct to take the next flight “home” when my child had the bruise? My child at his home can never do that as we have sued up all the parks to make those tall buildings. How did the chacha, chachi, mama, mamis became aunts and uncles for my kid’s generation? “Go wash your hands first before eating” was another universal dialogue reserved only for elders to scold the kids. Why we changed that to “please wash your hands before touching my baby”. When did that change happen?

Today we are back in crossroads. Our kids are now growing up? Suddenly sipping that expensive wine with low salt cashew nut, we are realising that also means we are growing old. Now I realise my kids will leave me. And with the mentality taught by me, with more hardened stance as they as a generation also evolving better and much faster. That makes us realise we are racing against time, to teach our kids, the new generation a very important lesson. To command them to unlearn what they have seen what their parents did but remember everything what their grandparents wanted them to do with hardly meeting them and learning from them. Suddenly we are blaming our kids for being arrogant, we are being the one who made that a norm. Suddenly we are finding our kids away from the roots of our existence which we left behind.

Can’t we just go back to what our previous generation taught us? Just look in the eyes of the next generation and simply tell them what we did wrong instead of telling them what to do right? Don’t we trust our next generation a gene of ours to take the right lesson from us and shape the future. Can we do the last right thing that we were taught, we help connect the next generation to the previous generation? Can we just hand over the baton in the right humble way than claiming the victory? Hope my child writes this same letter some decades ahead with a smile that the baton of life was handed to them shaped them more humane.


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