Monday, February 21, 2011

At the wrong end of the generation gap.

Here is a question that has been plaguing my mind for quite sometime now. What is more important: respect for your elders/ seniors or speaking up for everything that you think is right?

I have had this problem from time immemorial! Sometimes I know that I disagree with something that my mom/dad/older sibling/senior at work is telling me. But I give them the benefit of doubt because:

a) I believe that they have more experience than me, and I trust their judgement

b) there are times when I feel I may not be seeing things from their point of view

I don’t know if it is fair to say so, but of late, I’ve been seeing an increase in the number of irreverent kids: kids who question everything, who have strong opinions of their own, who do not always give elders the respect that is due to them.

I mean, I know that having questions is a good thing. And also, having an opinion on something means that they are actually thinking and that they have a fair knowledge of what’s happening in their field of work. Their attitude is what irks me.

Perhaps I am too old school. Or maybe too small-town?

When a fresh-out-of-college-just-joined-work kid has critical opinions about every work that happens, I have a problem because:

a) they have no clue what the client likes/dislikes

b) they do not have the experience to comment on what would work best

Perhaps that falls in the category of being smart and proactive?

I cringe every time I see a kid snuggling up to his/her boyfriend/girlfriend in front of one of their parents. I feel uncomfortable when a kid says, “Don’t piss me off!” when having a conversation with a friendly, 40 something elder in church. And I get outright irritated when I hear them say things like, “My dad’s such an ass! He didn’t give me the keys to his Wagon R.”

I mean, an ass? A word that you use to describe your dad? Really?

I suppose I am living in times where the thin line between confidence and over confidence, freedom of speech and slander, being friends and taking for granted, is slowly diminishing.

Or perhaps the society as I know it is slowly crumbling – giving way to a new kind of society where these things that I dislike are acceptable.

Photo courtesy:


  1. There is no clear cut answer for this, you know. It is a trial an error situation. I look at the situation at hand and make the best judgment call I can :-)

  2. You nailed it!

  3. @Raajii
    I guess I also need to do the same! :)

    You think so? :D

  4. i agree with you on the matter concerning the freedom of expression ( read impoliteness)of this generation. the kids of tomorrow will become disastrous with so much exposure to slag from the west by the television sets and other medium and also the level of patience is declining in every new generation. every one seems to suffer from no-tolerance-n-easy-solution syndrome!! secondly, its the duty of parents and teachers and as a strangers even ours to resist such a change in the use of infuriating verbal expression.

    great post!!

  5. @Quietude
    Glad I struck a chord there. Thank you! :)

  6. If any of your parents, or someone from the previous generation, ever kept a blog, I wouldn't be surprised to find a similar post (the same essence, not necessarily the same scenario) somewhere in there.

    The society, as described during the birth of civilization, is no more. As new societies evolve, the older ones crumble. The values of the newer societies are but blasphemous to the ones from the past. There is no other way. It is the the way forward - at least in time.