There was a quote that stayed with me recently. “The ceiling of one generation is the floor the next one can build on.” It might be slightly paraphrased…but you get the idea. So many of us look at the generation we are not in and think…”what do they know?” Either you are in a group that is “old fashioned” or then “new fangled”…there can be a large gap between the two. And so many times there is misunderstanding and general discard. We forget that each generation has been at the foreground of some great movement or innovation. Each generation has had music, fashion and technology that baffled their parents. But within a short period of time it is “normal”, “status quo”!!! How can we acknowledge the value of each side?
We roll our eyes when we hear, “well, in my day we did..(fill in the blank)..!” And then we say it to our children. I know I do. Haha! The older I get, the more I hear myself quoting my parents. At times I cringe, because I remember not listening to most of the advice they tried to give me. Then I have to remember that it’s okay…that I have needed to make my own way and make my own painful mistakes. Plus, I can ask them now…if I need advice. There is always someone older and wiser to go to, and they can be so interesting to listen to when you have an open mind. It’s good to remember that they have also been at whatever age you are…they have made mistakes, had doubts and overcome many challenges. These triumphs have paved the way for what we take for granted now, and things our children will have no idea of.
As someone who is halfway between life, I can start to see both sides of the story. It is fascinating to watch as my children grow up and start making life choices. I can’t protect them. I can only hope that some advice I give sticks…but then I have to let go. I need to remind myself that I am of a different generation. They will do things that I don’t understand. Quite often these “norms” for them can be something I find unsettling, but that doesn’t mean I am right. It means I need to adjust. There is no joy in being a “fuddy duddy”, and the younger generation will start to avoid you. Enjoy watching them. Remember that you were also that age once. Be glad that you are where you are now…with all the lessons you have learned. With the wisdom you would love to share. Now if only someone would listen….!!!