Monday, June 10, 2013

The Generation Gap Lie

After looking at the various definitions of “Baby Boomer” and “Generation X” I realize I was born at a very unique period where I can be considered both.  Interestingly, both my mother and I can be considered in the same “generation” both of us “Baby Boomers” (she, born at the very beginning and me born at the very end of that period).  However, depending on which criteria you accept I could be also considered a “Gen X’er”, and so I am at an overlap period in which I can be identified as either or both.

Have you heard of and bought into the term of the 60's, the "Generation Gap"?  What if it is a lie?  What if it is meant to keep the wisdom and experience of the older generation from the strength, innovation and endurance of the younger generation?  What if, instead, we were to honor each other and celebrate our differences instead of always looking for ways to segregate ourselves from each other?  What if we found out we had more in common than not?  How powerful could that end up being?

Perhaps, because like my earlier realization, I’m at a very unique period in my life where I can be considered not young any longer, but not yet old, I have the unique opportunity to look at both sides more objectively.  So what I’m saying is that even though we may not talk the same language (or more precisely, use the same slang), listen to the same music, or dress the same, that doesn’t mean we have to criticize or be dismissive of one another.  Instead, let’s face the facts that each generation has certain influence, resources, ideas, experience, power, strength and integrity.  How much better would this world be if we could use our power for the united good?

So the next time we’re tempted to say, “Oh this younger generation has no work ethic, they’re so entitled!” maybe we should ask them what they do value, which is probably something similar to ours, they just look at it or approach it differently.  Or how about when we’re tempted to say, “Oh the older generation just doesn’t get it, they’re so old fashioned!” maybe we should ask them why they think the “old” way of doing something is more valuable.  Maybe we could find some gems of honor, respect and propriety in their ideas.  Maybe we could just think of each other as in the same generation, and just appreciate what each of us brings to the table – period.
What is the payoff?  I believe that will leave a legacy where the generations after us can stand on our shoulders rather than just walking in our footsteps.  I know that’s what I want for my children…….and their children…..and so on……

-Tessa L. Charles


  1. I agree completely! Having a lot of friends and relatives of different ages, I can see the differences in generational cultures. But I love it! I love learning from my parents or older friends and family, but still being able to pass on our perspectives. For the most part I feel that they like hearing from our generation.

    Aaand now living with my husband who is 7 years older and his mom who is 46 years older than me, PLUS in a different country...there are definitely generational differences and cultures! But seeing it as a way for us to unite and learn from each other, makes life that much better.

  2. I love your perspective that your circumstances are NOT a stumbling block but rather an opportunity! Good for you!!!!