Generations

Does it seem that a lot of time is spent dissing the younger generations, or am I just noticing it more than others?

Whether it be on television or hearing people when they talk and mention how they don’t understand ‘this generation,’ or by actually continuing to apply names to the generation, it just seems to come up.

Are we not aware enough of ourselves to know that this is a commonality for all of us but that perhaps it is not some weird character trait of another generation? By that I mean, as we age, we struggle to remember and to hang on to the things that we learned when we were younger and as I have learned, that were given to us as ‘solid truths.’ As I have grown older, I have come to the realization that these solid truths are those that last for a finite amount of time, often to be displaced by a newer truth. I cite the philosophies and practices used for babies, for example. When you place an infant in a crib for a nap or for the night, does one place the baby on his/her side, back, or stomach? When my children were babies there was one thought, now there is another. Isn’t that so much like so many other things? What about the waiting time after eating before swimming? My mom was taught that it was not good for the body to drink liquids while eating. Whether that was right or wrong, and I thought it was wrong, it was a policy of hers that lasted a lifetime, because it was a ‘truth’ that she learned.

I have great difficulty remembering the characteristics and the names for any generation other than my own. I don’t know my children’s generational names and I don’t care to learn them. What I do know is that each generation starts out with the ideas that are ‘standards’ when they are little and growing up and of course these thoughts prevail in their brains for a lifetime.

To be honest, in my head, those of us who harp about the characteristics all the time are really showing our age. We should be smart enough and aware enough to know that we displayed the sometimes brash and almost even know it all aspects of the age group of which we might be critical. Instead, we should take a step back and be aware that each generation invariably behaves according to what it learned back in the day. We should live instead of criticize and try to understand where that came from.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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