In my journey of life, I have come to realize that I seem to connect much easily with older people; perhaps it is because I seem to understand their story and empathize with them. The case is not so for younger people, who no matter how much one tries to show that they are well understood, they still seem to believe something in them is over the head of older people.
However, here are a few counsel that may be helpful for older people to build stronger and better relationship with younger ones.
1. By selection of nature, older people had a headstart in all things. Therefore, younger people are conditioned to receive from them rather than give to them. However, there is a bit of confusion when that conditioning is stretched beyond certain areas of life. Materially, they are delighted to receive from older people but mentally, even from their early years, they don’t fancy unsolicited advice or knowledge. They approach knowledge on a need basis; until it is needed and asked for, they are not welcomed.
2. Elders, by reason of their experiences, love to draw parallel between the past and the present; they even predict the future based on their interpretation of the present. Unfortunately, younger folks do not appreciate being compared with anyone, who had the privilege of experiencing what they are presently experiencing in the past. They love to believe that they are different and their story would be. It is not likely that this would change in them until they already see proof that history repeats itself when people refuse to learn from it. Indeed, every present story once played out in an old history.
3. Elders reserve their ‘wells of blessings’ until when provoked by generosity from younger people. This is a historical fact, even seen throughout the Scripture. However, elders who are not generous with their blessings are likely to find their younger ones springing out in search of someone else’s blessings outside their environment; putting no more value on whatever their elders have to give anymore. Maybe it is better to bless younger generations without waiting for a stimulus from them, maybe not; but their generosity towards older people would become a perpetual culture, rather than special events, if and when elders bless them continually. Putting pressure on younger people for generosity towards older people will devalue the blessings older people have to offer.
Surely, the disconnect between generations of people is the reason for the collapse of values and prosperity; a bit of adjustment on both side would do a lot of good.
Happy New Month