It is fashionable to talk about yawning generation gap in the modern world. But what does ‘generation gap’ mean anyway? It means the gap between one generation and the next, between the old generation and the younger.
This gap has always been there through all the previous centuries and the gap, as such is neither unexpected nor desirable. What surprises us today is the width of the gap: it is far wider than it has ever been and far more difficult to bridge.
Generation gap brings about a change (or a development) in the thoughts and actions of the people of the later generation from the previous generation. It also brings about a change in ways and means of living, in dressing and even in speech.
A gap denotes distance and indeed, the older generation in today’s world stands far apart from the younger one in many respects and vice versa. The older men dress differently, eat traditional food, believe in an accepted code of conduct, and cherish values which have no meaning for the younger people. In fact, many activities of the younger men amaze their parents and parent-surrogates, even shock them.
A denim and jean-clad boy romps about with a girl-friend in tow. He drinks campa-cola and dances exotic dances. He sings pop-songs of the western variety and does not care for his rich national heritage. The boy we are talking about is an Indian boy and his girl-friend has the same way of living. They are very well- informed but they do not seem to go deep into things.
They live smartly, even dangerously. And to have a taste of dangerous living by proxy, they read Hadley Chase’s adventure stories with extraordinary zeal. The older people can hardly appreciate all that they do. The sentiments and altitudes of these two classes of men are mutually unintelligible. As a result, they misunderstand one another, and more often than not get wounded by one another’s gestures.
But should generation gap be taken negatively always? Doesn’t it have a positive prospect? Well, it does have many positive spheres as well
With the advent of technology the distance between generations have increased more and more. Compare an old Rolls Royce to a modern day jaguar. The differences are not shocking.
Compare an olden day cooking oven to a modern day multi- utility cooking kitchen top. Compare a bell-bots to a modern day cargo. Differences far and wide.
But thinking of differences we can proudly state that if generation gap hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have been what we are now. Why?
Think about computers. Now think about a world without computers? Impossible right? Computers are the greatest gifts that modern world had offered us. Whatever the old uncles may say about the nostalgia of watching cricket on an old black and white television set. There is no comparison when it comes to watching movies with the high -end graphics and digital surround sound.
The eyebrows of even the oldest of the old people go up when they see the advancement the little generation gap has made.
But with generation gap comes another factor and that is freedom. With generation gap comes more versatility and thoughts and gestures. People are becoming more broad minded and frank. This creates a matter of great objection to the people who believe that newer generation are actually disrespecting traditions and rituals by becoming more flexible in the customs and thoughts.
Compared to boys, society has more problems with girls when it comes to freedom. If a girl dresses independently of her choice then she becomes a topic of great interest and introspection.
There have been certain rules set in the society for dress code. In a family gathering you always have to wear a traditional cloth: on sea beaches girls shouldn’t get wet, if they do it is considered uncultured. Often the basis of these norms is questionable.
Why do we have to wear formals in a gathering? Why not an outfit in which i am most comfortable in? For this reason certain fashion designers have come up with an innovation called “fusion wear”. It is a mix of both traditional as well as casual wear. Nevertheless this form of dressing had also faced a lot of criticism.
With generation gap came another factor which still is a topic of hot discussion and that is the choice of music. Older generations still believe that newer generation listens to what is called ‘noise’ and not music. Yes, there are evergreen gems whose place is cannot be taken by anybody. Nobody can forget the charm of music made by the ‘ battles’ or ‘elvis pristley’ or ‘john Lennon’
But who said that the music made by today’s generations is bad? The famous songs of ‘shakira’, ‘Jennifer Lopez’ and ‘Michael Jackson’ are still rocking the charts far and wide. Their melodies are heard all over the world. Would it have been possible is their music was ‘noise’?
The fact is that we take time to get used to change. Whatever is new in the market we discard it thinking that it might be bad since it is new. We don’t want to experiment. This is why the generation gap has increased to such an extent that it is difficult to bridge.
The major concept lies in acceptance, adjustments and tolerance. There has to be a difference between the oldest member of a family and the youngest member of the family. The world has made them so. Their difference is not in their hands. But the fact lies in acceptance.
The family members have to accept their differences as well as them themselves, instead of fighting with each other trying to correct each other.
Only then can they co-exist and live in peace and harmony. Rather a new genre will be created with the mix of both old and new. Same goes with the world on a bigger prospect. Much more interesting and innovative items can come up the old and the new join hands. The secret of success lies there.