The battle being waged between different generations is only new for the Millennials. For every generation that grew up and entered the workforce before them, including Generation X, different life events gave birth to sources of inter-generational friction. At the very least it, the tension goes back to the early 1800s. In the first chapter of “Walden” Thoreau told us, “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.”
In a blog post that can repeated in their own words by millions of Veterans (born before 1946) and Baby Boomers, Chuck Avery describes a family incident where blame for not respecting elders could easily have been placed away, “By what’s wrong with kids today.” But Avery instead opens the door to bridging the generation gap. He writes:
Of course, on the river of time, the currents of criticism flow both ways. I have been guilty of ridiculing hip-hop and rap music, using some of the same deprecations that my elders used toward rock ‘n’ roll when I was in high school. We can’t believe the language used by the youngsters today, but I never understood why my teachers were horrified when I told a classmate to “bite me!”
Avery offers an excellent reminder that taking sides in any conflict is a sure way to turn a different point of view into full-feldged war.