Blog entry - The young versus the old







What the young can learn from the old
Experts often speak of the generation gap, or the differing perspectives of older and young

BLOG ENTRY What the young can learn from the old Experts often speak of the generation gap, or the differing perspectives of older and younger groups, as a major obstacle to intergenerational relationships. However, having read Fay Weldons' article which portrays her personal experience as an elderly with the younger generation I want to look a bit deeper into her provoking expression "What's the use of us?". Older people are often portrayed in the media as being technically challenged. Jokes are often shared on social media about older people taking photos on their phones with their thumb covering the lens, accidentally installing viruses on computers or simply being grumpy and ungrateful. Furthermore, I can confirm from my own experience as being a 17 year old that younger generations don't always fully value what the elderly can offer society nor do we take notice of the old as we do of people our age. Therefore, it seems really necessary and beneficial to me to point out what the older and younger generations can learn from each other since it is definitely worth to build bridges with people of all ages to expand our world view. You may be surprised by how insightful that first conversation can be or you might even have the talk of...

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a lifetime! Just think for a brief moment about all the benefits that the older generation offers to our society and especially to the younger people: Those advantages of intergenerational relationships are numerous. The younger generation can learn valuable life lessons from the older generation who has experienced a great deal of setbacks and triumphs throughout their lives. These conversations can relieve anxiety about the future and stress, especially when it comes to making important decisions or simply just guidance and practical advice for living. At the same time, such conversations are also important for older people as they remind them of the fact that their lives have mattered which certainly is really rewarding. In addition, we could transfer their way of taking everything at a leisurely pace to our own life which seems to be set on maximum-speed since we're doing loads of things at once in today's fast-paced world. Therefore, rather than seeing our lives flash before our eyes, we should follow their lead more often and adapt to their unhurried rhythm in order to enjoy the moment from time to time. Another area in our lives that is in desperate need of counseling from the elderly are relationships. In todays throwaway society where one in three marriages ends in divorce, our generation should turn to the older generation more frequently since relationships back then definitely had everything to do with higher levels of commitment and relentless attempts to make things work. Probably, even the word divorce might be a foreign one to the older generation's dictionary. Bearing all those things that the older generation offers society in mind, we shouldn't forget that the elderly also benefit immensely from such interactions. Since loneliness and social isolation amongst older people are huge problems in todays world and only one of the many challenges that our aging society poses it is even more important to consider them important and to treat them with the same amount of respect in order to tackle those problems. In the end we should always keep in mind that old is gold and therefore consider what the older generation can offer us more often. Please do let me know what other things you can learn from the elderly and feel free to share your personal experience in the comment section of this blog!