Generational Dichotomies

Many a time I have been told that gaping generation gaps should not exist in a family like mine, so gaping that it hinders unparalled and unobstructed contact and communication between members of the same family. Well, given the current circumstance, my instincts capitulates freely towards that notion; but on zooming closer into the roots of this familial conundrum, praticalism begs indifference.

What I believe, is that such generation gaps arise from the lack of understanding, ignorance, indifference or whatever you call this lacklustre ability to comprehend the sub or mainstream culture of the next generation. Perhaps an unwillingness to accept or a in-built persistance to ram down the throats of the other, personal experiences and perceived benefit, abets this phenomenon. Well, I thought that it would be an uphill task apportioning blame for this conundrum, given that we are superficialites with nary an authority or power over what nature endows us with. You could be quick to derise and say: Blame the causers of this problems! The aged, the middle-aged, for their complacency and extreme esteem, for their unfounded belief that their, and only their experiences and ways of life would serve much in the individual’s personal journey through life. This argument appears sound on the surface, but the underpining insinuation speaks of wrongly and unjustly apportioning blame on the wrong entity. I proffer that mother nature shoulders the full blame, given humanity’s inability to manipulate whatever nature endows us with, or whatever characteristic nature flings at us — just like the instinct to force ideals upon the other.

You would agree that the above paints a very bleak picture, in the aspect of solutions for this familial conundrum. The answer is a stark affirmative, and I shall explain, from my perspective why this is so. The question burning on every sociologist’s mind addresses the probability of seeking a solution to this problem, the problem from which the contraction of vices and breakdown of society’s atom stem from. We are overwhelmed in a maelstrom of quick-fixes to this problem, this influx of superficial solutions being exacerbated by the trend of increasing communication breakdown, the engineering of more and more socio-cultural barriers which manifest in the form of fashion trends and the whatnots of youthful displays which collide head on with the wisely image of the older generation, between the child and the parent, between the parent and the grandparent or between the child and the grandparent. All this bodes ill towards the basal functioning of the society, which in essence, is a consolidation of men bound by the same creed or culture.

Generation gaps could well arise from one’s different piriorities in life. Many are quick to condemn the over-gregarious spending culture of teenage mall-goers, but forgot that they likewise, are victims of a massive social plot which plays upon the instinct of authoritative bodies to believe in their philosophy and dress surbodinates — in the case of generation gaps, are the occupants of the lower rungs of societal or familial hierarchy — in a palette of self-concocted values and principles. Hypothetically, if youths commanded the higher authority, the older generation’s culture of conservatism or even mindless money-spindling could be on the receiving end of blunt derison. Perhaps the notion of a mechanism that displays the same characteristics as westernisation or macdonaldisation operating in the local context comes to mind. Similar to the higher power’s ability to dominate and play an influential role the establishing of western culture in part-western societies or countries of oriental roots, the older generation, armed with a plethora of anecdotal experience, harbour the capacity and perceived moral authority to establish a foundation of principles that run on the experiences gained by the authoritative figure. And because one’s piriorities fluctuate throughout the course of life, these principles evolve, usually stablising once the one reaches the yardstick of middle-age. Now, no longer are pursueing fashion or the owning of state-of-the-art gadgets important; money making and providing for the family takes preceedence over the former. This results in an instant derison of the child’s spending habits or the child’s capitulation towards the pestilential influence of various social vices — for the case of communication breakdowns between the child and the parent. For the case between the parent and the grandparent, perhaps the grandparent advocates a disapproval over the parent’s obsession over money making, the decades of experiencing life’s wraths and sweet intangibles allowing them to grasp the worthlessness of monetary wealth in comparison to intangibles like familial bonds and love. Is this not apt illustration for the futility of advocating solutions which do not and cannot address the root conundrums?

Perhaps a passive role played by the authoritative figure can go far in quelling unrest or the suppression of malevolent rebellious behavior exhibited by the social surbodinate in counterance towards the uninvited dressing down of time-proven principles, as this passiveness is a manifestation of acceptance and comprehension of fads and the person’s moral or financial inclinations. No doubt, one could chalk up a heavy moral debt in steering clear of time-proven advice, but if this is adequate to alleviate generational gaps, the social profit would far negate any financial incurrance. Let us bear in mind the importance of the role the social atom — the family — plays in ensuring a cohesive society.

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