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Essay on “Generation Gap” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Generation Gap

POINTS TO DEVELOP

  1. What is a generation gap?
  2. Two aspects-chronological and psychological.
  3. Tug-of-war between two generations.
  4. Peer group pressures.
  5. Friction mellows in later life.
  6. Conclusion

The generation gap is another of those characteristic features that set Homo sapiens apart from other animals. It is doubtful if ever the most intelligent of apes ever blamed its juniors for their wayward ways! Over the years people have tried to analyse it, explain it, understand it, even ignore it, but it remains, ready to confront each generation as it tries to formulate its own perspectives about life and living.

A dictionary defines ‘generation’ as “all persons born about the same time” and also as the “average time in which children are ready to replace their parents-about 30 years.” This definition in itself contains the seeds of the rift, chasm, cleft, call it what we will, that translates into the generation gap. Not only does it establish a definite group of contemporaries but it also categorically states that the said group will ‘replace’ an earlier group-and no one likes to be ‘replaced’! Hence the ensuing ‘gap’!

From this definition we come to the two aspects of the generation gap-the chronological and the psychological. The chronological gap between two generations is an irrefutable fact of life that stares us in the eye like adolescence and menopause. It has to happen, and happen it will. And given the mortality of humans it is but natural that since one must grow old and one day cease to be, there must be someone following ready to take over, to whom one can hand over the baton. It need not be replacement but inheritance, even if the inheritors do not follow in the predecessors footsteps but walk their own road.

The life and times of two generations cannot be identical or even similar, thanks to modern research, progress in science, faster and easier communications and even distasteful things like inflation and population explosion. All these ensure that the world we live in grows a new skin every few years. These changes in due course affect our thinking and influence our attitudes, expectations, behavioural patterns and values. These influences do, of course, work on humankind  but they have the greatest impact on that section of society which is on the threshold of discovery-discovery of the self, of life and of living. For someone who has already measured swords with life a characteristic lifestyle is already in place. So such persons, used as they are to living on their own familiar terms, see no real need to change their habits every time a new product hits the market to make their lives that much more easy. A younger person would probably reach out for it in all eagerness.

In essence, therefore, the generation gap is a tug-o’war of change versus stability, new versus old, modern versus traditional. It does not have to become (and this is Important) a tug-o’-war of age versus youth. In fact, it need not take on the complexion of a confrontation at all. As

Tennyson wrote

The old order change the​ yielding place to new, And God fulfills himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

Therefore change is a must for society to survive, whether or not we accept it as part of God’s will. The new must replace the old to retain freshness in living. It need not mean that those used to an earlier lifestyle should sink. There is no ultimatum involved. Ideally, the best of the old and the new ought to be integrated for the true and smooth evolution of humankind. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done and each generation continues to feel threatened by the next, causing much heart-burn and tension and the generation gap takes the blame.

This friction is born out of the psychological factors influencing the generation gap. The generation gap can be observed in the smallest unit of society, the family, in the confrontation between parent and child. Although according to the dictionary definition children take 30 years before they are ready to replace their parents, signs of the eventual take-over become manifest much earlier. And what is true for the family holds good at all levels of society. One group’s enthusiasm for, and another’s resistance to, change is prevalent at all social strata and has a unifying effect among members of the group.

The generation gap, to begin with, is hardly evident in relations, whether between two individuals or between an individual and society where one individual is below the age of five. The tantrums of a two-year old or a toddler’s refusal to drink milk can hardly qualify as difficult behaviour associated with the generation gap. It is at a more social stage, when peer group pressures begin to exert their influence on the individual, so much so that he or she develops a feeling of belonging to one generation as opposed to another, that the generation gap takes root. Peer group pressure plays a major role in determining attitudes, values, likes and dislikes, even speech, appearance and behaviour. From the early school-going years to, say, puberty, parental pressures do manage to carry the day, though diminishing annually in strength. It is from adolescence to adulthood and maturity that the chasm between the generations is at its widest. During this period the adolescents strive to strike a balance between their innate personalities moulded by nature and nurture and outside dictates that demand conformity as a price for acceptance. It is this struggle within, coupled with a very strong desire for acceptance without, that prompts an outward show of ‘courage and defiance’. Parents or guardians of society symbolise restrictions and discipline and in the attempt to establish individuality and independence there is an urge to break free of what seems the shackles of discipline. As D.H. Lawrence has said, “We have to hate our immediate predecessors to get free of their authority.” With the onset of adulthood and maturity much of the restlessness and rebellion mellows and the individual learns to appreciate the need for both stability and change. On the other hand, the older contenders, who were earlier overzealous in their aspirations to rear a perfect individual, too, have aged and become increasingly aware of their own mortality. They learn to lower their defences and the friction eases considerably.

A leading newsPaper once launched a rather intelligent advertising campaign in which it pit its increasingly larger readership against that of a much older, traditional trusted name, and called the differences in their sales-the generation gap. Each successive generation has stuck out its tongue at the preceding one, just as the latter has struck its palm against the forehead, bemoaning the loss of morality and predicting dire reprisals. It remains a case of “If Youth only knew and if Age only could”. The advertisement only hammers home the fact that that was then, and

this is now!

Essay No.02

Generation Gap

The gap between old people and young boys and girls is called the generation gap. While the young people are inexperienced ,  rash and impatient  the elders are endowed with wisdom, prudence and caution. This gap between the two generations is not a new phenomenon. It has existed  since time immemorial.

The people belonging to the older generation always wonder as to what has gone wrong with the new generation. They feel that  during their time, young boys and girls were better behaved, more obedient, and had greater respect for their elders. They feel that a lack of respect for the old will bring ruin and spell disaster for the young. Young people on  the other hand, feel that they are capable enough to learn on their own rather than lean  heavily on the older generation for any guidance. Young people do not like to be spoon fed by their elders.

The gap between the old and the new generations is widening day –by- day due to various reasons. First of all, the young people feel that the present system of education has little relevance to the realities of life. It is not job oriented. The result is that even after completing their schooling, they are not able to find any employment. They feel highly disillusioned.

Secondly, life has become so busy and fast that parents find little time to devote to their children. Efforts to promote intimacy and understanding between the old and the young are lacking.

Thirdly, the young also find the there is a difference between what they are expected to do and what is actually happening in the country. The talk of duty, dedication, morality, etc. leaves the young in a quandary. Young people are not prepared to follow whatever their elders tell them. When the young people find that corruption has entered into every sphere of life, they feel disgusted. They fight against social and economic injustice. They demand a change.

In India, tradition is still dominant. Tradition kills the initiative of younger generation. In order to express their disenchantment with the existing state of affairs, young people often resort to violence. They wear what they like. They behave in a very unconventional manner. They have no respect tradition, custom, manners etc. they develop an aversion to hard work.

The generation gap has widened to such an extent that the old and the young people appear  to be living  in two separate  worlds without any interaction. In order to bridge this generation gap, elders should adopt a more sympathetic approach towards the young, and try to understand the  emotions, the aspirations and the problems of the young. The youth should realize that they have no experience of life. They should, therefore, value the advice and counsel of the elders. If the youth have any difference of opinion, they should put across their viewpoint before the elders in a very polite and respectful manner.

In the western countries of Europe and America, the generation gap is so much that the young and the old do not like to live together. The young people start living separately as soon as they are able to earn their livelihood. Similarly, the old people also start living separately in their own houses or in pensioner Houses or old age Homes in their old age. Thus this generation gap results in the break- up of homes and joint families.

Although under the influence of the western education the problem of generation gap is also creating a lot of problems in India, yet its effect is still limited in our country due to the influence of the joint family system prevailing in India. There are definitely a lot of advantages in the joint family system. Therefore, we should not follow the western system blindly at the cost of the well-tried Indian social and family tradition.

But this does not mean that the youth are always at fault. The real meaning of ‘ Generation Gap’ is the lack of understanding between old and new generations. It should be the duty of both generations. It should be the duty of both generations to try to understand and respect one another’s view. Only then this problem can be solved.

 

Essay No. 03

 

Generation Gap

There always has been generation gap since the dawn of civilization. The older people and the younger population complain of generation gap. There is a great hue and cry raised by the elders and the young both that the communication between them has broken down. They attribute it to generation gap.

The elders are more critical of the younger generation with a big inventory of complaints against the young and the young mostly tend to ignore the complaining, speechless and occasional loud protestations of the older generation.

But now and then they do protest. They resent the petting attitude of the elders.

The younger generation naturally differs in dress, food, habits etc, as all these were not available to the older generation. These changes are indicative of progress. With the passage of time when the society, right from the basic unit of the family through society and the entire humanity, is changing, how can the new generation be asked to move backward to the ancestors’ way of life? It will be generally agreed that most fathers want their offspring to adopt the same profession that they themselves followed without giving due weight to the aptitude of the offspring. This causes tension between the elders and the children. People are fixated on the music of their youth. The film songs, for example, of one’s youth are still attractive and the later music is rarely appreciated. The same is the story about  art and literature or the type of reading available in a given age. The tastes keep changing and no one should complain about this change. It is unavoidable and can’t be stopped. The ways people relax also change from age to age. Traditions, culture, moral definitions keep changing. If one persists in it, one widens the generation gap and certainly has no business to criticize the youth. Those who are young today will face the same mess when they will reach their age. At least a quarter century separates the older generation from the younger one. In most cases the gap is of over half a century. Naturally an unnoticeable biological evolution takes place and the nature wants the survival of the fittest. The young generation can’t survive if it doesn’t change. No power on earth can prevent the natural gap owing to this evolution. Nature equips each succeeding generation with mechanism to survive the rigors of the new environment. The old have to leave early after having lived their lives. They would be wise not to interfere in the pace of development of the new

It was high time they stopped complaining. The young should see this mess of the old and be tolerant and respectful towards them. It will ensure harmony in the society and add joy and peace to the daily life. But every rose has a thorn. They younger generation shot train With l d also be on their guard against the evils coming in  the fast life. Stress, depression, frustration as a result of a race for ascendancy shouldn’t be ignored or they can rob them our the fruit of their labour and their dreams. The young are future, the future of humanity, of the human race on Mother earth.

Only they can save themselves by heeding early warning of the evils of the modern world and life based on their own assessment. The old can still tell them that they in their time faced these travails of transition and suffered now and then. They young should listen to the old but must take their own decisions with discretion and a balanced perspective. The coming generation will be better than each preceding one.

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