There is a sad and scary scenario circulating the all around us… maybe not in everybody’s world but certainly that of many I know.
Picture the scenario… A grey haired Patriarch or Matriarch of the family .. (for convenience of expression we shall speak of this head as being a He…) who has struggled from a young age to contribute to the upkeep of his household, has devoted so many years to hardships interspersed with joys, travails,and problem solving that by the time his family grows up, grows equal, grows ahead in many ways, he is tired, set in his ways even though he struggles to keep up and claims to be constantly changing to fit in, rigid, arrogant about certain things, egotistic about what he claims to be always correct about due to years of experience and dealing with the worst obstacles but nevertheless , pretty non compliant with the changing views and work mode of the new gen.
He has reached a stage when he begins to suffer from a bit of a superiority cum persecution complex ,where he has hammered himself into believing that all that he has stood for or worked for is threatened by a family or surroundings that think differently, have different priorities and interests, and way more independent than he would like them to be in general and are 100% more technologically advanced and way more dependent on it for conducting their daily chores, entertainment and business
A scenario that is unfathomable for a veteran who cannot understand how it’s possible to get things done without rolling in the mud and getting one’s hands dirty!
How can little 5″ pieces of metal and plastic be a substitute for manual Labour. How can daily trips to the banks, offices, marketplaces and impending business collaborators be replaced by a message, a phone call, and email, a wire transfer, social media interaction and promotion , e-commerce often without leaving the confines of the house!
How can a phone call placed at 2 pm in the afternoon achieve the same result as when one had to queue up from 9am to get the same thing done!
How could a face to face confrontation be replaced by a conference call or skype meeting without being disastrous because ” the personal touch” that was the norm for decades was missing!
How could twitter which sounds like a birdy thing gone wrong , reach out to more people than flyers in the local daily could! How could Instagram which was nothing but a bunch of show offs travel photos, be an apt platform to advertise serious work?!!
How could blink and miss snapchats possibly help a business To up its game in this competitive world!
He thinks you need to be there, hands on at all times, shouting off the top of the roofs about what ure doing! Yes, in many ways that is the requirement especially in India with its uending paperwork, bureaucracy and red tapism, but not in every situation!
There are substitutes, new methods, new ploys, modernity!
What if each member of his family has different interests and hobbies. What if their communication skills were different from each other? Thought processes more (or less )evolved or broad minded! What if they spoke a non verbatim language that he cannot get the grasp of!
What if their backgrounds were so different that finding common ground was becoming more and more difficult with each passing day and age!
What if the claims of changing himself were only superficial and in reality he was still neck deep in age old beliefs such as members of the family (especially females of the family) should not be asking too many questions, asking for explanations, or wanting to enjoy time out with people other than himself..maybe with a gang of girls or siblings! He reluctantly may give in out of pressure from the family members but at the back of his mind it is all wrong to him as he cannot fathom how a group of girls or boys alone could not be upto no good..evil even probably!
He reacts instantaneously, jumps to conclusions, judges unfairly, sulks like a character from the Mahabharata , sinks into depression because he thinks everyone is his worst enemy, cooks up a storm in his mind where he is caught in a whirlwind tornado and is being tossed around by ruthless entities that seem to want to render him obsolete !
These negative thoughts and a refusal to sit it out and listen to a counter view patiently instead of responding violently the moment topics or arguments turn contrary to his rigid ideas are slowly turning households into modern day Mahabharatas . The dispute may not be about land but definitely about egos and the will to force one’s ideology upon the other without taking his input into consideration and agreeing that someone other than himself may have a valid point or argument!
The youngsters today are headstrong yet supremely savvy..more so than the previous Gen mostly due to the very technology and exposure that the older Gen is so suspicious about!
Yes they have a lot to learn from their peers who they have struggled their way through life and learnt things the hard way, when they didn’t have conveniences available on their fingertips. No money, support or Google to show them the way! Listening to their experiences , they may not consider the plot to be relatable but they can certainly save themselves a lot of heartache by skipping the difficult parts that they may encounter or jumping seamlessly over the hurdles with help from solutions their fathers took years to arrive at! So listen they should, not to satisfy the older man’s ego, but to make theirbown lives more smooth sailing!
The younger Gen needs to realise this and give more credit and respect to their elders but also until the grey haired men and women are ready to accept these radical changes in the world whole heartedly and try to merge them into their daily lives, they can never hope to understand the ways of those more compliant to modern scenarios!
If they don’t know better, it is futile to attempt to enforce the outdated scenarios that existed before onto those that have found newer means and knowledge!
There was always the debate about Generation Gaps but it is more about generation egos where unfortunately, more often than not , it is the older generation who is stubborn and relentless and non forgiving about anything that is counter productive to their decades old EGO!!!