They were the youth icons, sportsmen, military officers, scientists, strategists, business men etc.; but a few decades ago. They enjoyed their youthful days in a nature-centric, mobile phone-free world. Their hard work was the building base for today’s hi-tech lifestyle. Yes, they are none other than the current crop of senior citizens of the country. They were once the heroes of their own off-springs. Some of them may be economically backwards but they have two commodities in abundance- EXPERIENCE and TIME. Most of them were the first graduates from their respective families. Some of them were the first to own a motor bike in their village. Theatre, arts and literature flourished in their times, in unison with their own lives. We find the senior citizens of the country today in most of the houses spending their time in front of television sets. They are seen as the lazy old people, as care takers of kids and as unpaid security guards by most of the family members. Their willingness to tell long stories from their past prevents the youngsters in the family from spending time with them. Some of them soon find their way into the old-age homes. For superstars once they were, most of them find only the stars in the sky for a company.
Youngsters of the day find it difficult to be in tune to the slow-paced life of the senior citizens in their family. While the youngsters thrive in technology and its various advancements, these elderly men have very less knowledge of the same. Though some of these senior citizens try to keep pace with the latest technologies, they are very few in number. The lifestyle of the present day seems to be too distant from their heydays for these seniors to cope with. They argue for anything and everything, for they have all the free time in the world, but their off-springs are too busy to hold the other end of the argument up.
This so-called generation gap widens the distance between the young and the old ones within families. The working youngsters of today are a stressed lot. They find it too hard to succeed in the hugely competitive world that they do not have the energy and time to look into all the issues of their parents. It is not that they lack the love for their beloved parents, but that they do not have sufficient time to satisfy the needs of the seniors in the families. The elders in every family have huge expectations on their off-springs. They expect to receive the same kind of respect and care that they used to offer to their parents decades ago. We all are educated enough to know what happens when demand exceeds supply.
It is due to this kind of a situation that the elders of our life are losing a golden period of their life. As a representative of the younger generation, I would say that we are losing on the opportunity to give back to them who gave us all the virtues of our life. Adjustments should be made on both sides. The elders in each family should try to understand their own off-springs and help them ease out their daily struggles. The youngsters in turn should understand that old age and cultural changes are not their fault and should try to support the elders in their family by creating space for them.
LET US LIVE TOGETHER, IN HARMONY!!