One of the main problems faced by the Indian youth today is their relationships with their parents. It is not always easy to relate to the way their parents perceive a situation. This issue is of course, due to the age-old concept of the Generation Gap. Madhura Sansare relays the lesser-heard side of this predominant issue; ours
We have all heard enough sentences starting with ‘In our time…’ from our older generations. Our entire college lives may just have been made up of that sentence, to be honest. Everything from our waking and eating habits, who we choose for our friends, our career choices to even our academic goals are all under scrutiny. While that is understandable, it is the out-dated perspective that they are looked at from that creates all the problems that it does. Life has changed, and as youngsters, we aren’t usually able to convince our older generations of it. So let’s go into a more in-depth explanation of this issue, and maybe, just maybe, next time you are caught in a similar argument, you’ll know exactly what to say.
Indian parents have this very specific idea of how a career should be made. Firstly, you should always opt for a relatively safer field, with the social favourites being, of course, engineering, computers or medical. You should study really hard for these degrees because anything less than 90% is obviously a crime. And while you’re studying you should remember that your occupation is being a student, and you should focus only on that. Once you complete your education, you should try to get a job, either through your college placements or on your own. Found a job? Great. Now stick to it. Keep getting your increments and your promotions there. After all, you know how hard it is to get a job. Why would you want to quit and try to find another one, right?
Though this system made complete sense in earlier times, in today’s day and age, this system has more banes than boons. Because of the love for engineering and medical, today we have an abundance of people in these fields, so much so that an engineering student going abroad for an MBA to end up working in an international bank has become an extremely common phenomenon. The digital age that is now upon us has also created a plethora of new careers and job opportunities, careers which were unheard of till now. The fields of music and dance and acting are not as unattainable as they were before either. And choosing any of these careers is not going to automatically equal to poverty and unemployment, as they would have us believe.
Hailing from a time of 9-to-5 jobs and going home directly after work, the idea of social life is quite foreign to our older generations. Just hanging out with friends after a long day at work, or if you are in college, hanging out even after college hours makes them queasy, only because they do not understand why we need it when they never did. After all, why wouldn’t you just want to come home to relax?
This concern is not a result of anything but being born in a different time. Our older generations had more homely lives than we do right now. And of course, they did. Nuclear families with working parents are a modern phenomenon. Our parents and elders, more often than not, came from joint families with an abundance of cousins to hang out with. It was a time when coming home did not equal to just sitting for dinner and TV with the immediate family. And that is if your immediate family is at home when you come back. It was due to these factors that the concept of spending time relaxing outside of the house wasn’t prevalent, and now that it is, it is still frowned upon by a generation that didn’t need it.
The generation gap is not just a theory, it is a fact. Typical as it is, the age-old philosophy of ‘live and let live’ may be our only salvation here. Parents need to realise that things are done differently now, and every step their young child takes does not need to be similar to yours or even acceptable to you; and at the same time, the youth also needs to understand that the generation above theirs has a truckful of experience, and ignoring it may just be the stupidest thing you ever do. The most probable solution: perhaps meet them halfway?