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Generation Gap


“Generation Gap” is an expression adopted by the present and forthcoming generation to shield their irresponsible, negligent, dis-respectful and indifferent behavior towards their elders. Generation gap has always been there since the dawn of civilization. This is nature for beyond human control. No two generation can ever come into existence at one and the same time. The ward “generation” it indicates a gap. There was a generation gap when your grandfather and then your great grandfather were born, so what new about it?

The fact of fact is that want to get rid of our responsibility towards our elders under the guise of Generation gap. Every day we hear of aged people out on the streets neglected in old age homes or committing suicide in despair. Parents shower all their attention, love and care on their children. But do the same children, when they grow up, return that affection? In the consumerish society of today where materialism is rampant, it is a thing of the past. Modern day pressures render people hard pressed for time. The breaking up of joint families and emergence of nuclear families add to the alienation felt by elders.

The problem of old age persons is not restricted to Indian society alone. It is a worldwide problem growing in magnitude every hour and every day on account of lowering of death rate, increased longevity of life and progress made in medical sciences. Generally elders are left to live for themselves because their children have no time to spare. Career, social, commitments and busy schedules come in the way.

Most people equate helping the old with financial support. But this is generally not what they really need is company, love, attention, care and respect.

If we closely look into the cause of ever-widening gulf between the parents and their children we can easily conclude that it is not the generation gap but the growing influence of Western culture which is based on materialism and is completely devoid of family feelings, where the institution of joint family does not exist. Lust for modernity in the form of Western dress, western music and pup dance etc. leads our younger generation to adopt western culture and western civilization. Hence it is the difference between the two cultures- Eastern and Western – that creates a difference between parents their children not the so called generation gap which has always been existence.

Indian culture teaches us not only to look after our children but the elders in our family too, be they parents, in-laws, uncles or aunts. The elderly persons should be considered an asset and we should set an example for our children by looking after our elders so that they may follow in our footsteps.

Admittedly, these values are taking a beating these days with a number of insidious influences creeping in. Remedy is easy. Proper guidance and control will weed out all that is undesirable and very soon the young ones will be back on the right track. We are a respectful people by nature, young or old. That makes it easier to accord our elders the respect and affection they deserve.

Elders need a lot of more love, attention, care and respect than what they are getting. What we do today for our elders is painfully much less when compared to what needs to be done and what can be done.

One way, albeit a materialistic one, of ensuring that children look after their elders is that they should ensure that financial and property rights remain in their hands. In many cases the day the parents hand over these matters, the children neglect and sometimes even ill-treat them.

But financial ability to look after their material needs is not the real problem. The fact is that elders have either lost their friends and companions and what they really need is company. Hence spending a little time with them in conversation, including there in outings or family functions and giving them the respect due to them will certainly help them feel like they are a part of the mainstream.

There should be a friendly relationship between the parents and their children let the younger lot enjoy elder’s company. They should not see them as a hindrance in any way. There should be an atmosphere of friendliness and mutual understanding.

By and large, we do care for our elders simply because it is a value deeply ingrained within most Indians. However, the pressures of day-to-day living may pose a problem. It is just a matter of looking deep within our hearts and resurrecting the buried feeling, making time for those who made all the time in the world for us.