Image adopted from: http://billaporter.com/generation-gap/
Not long ago, one of my good friends reviled the generation gap. He lambasted on how his parents never comprehended his situations. Thus, every talk ended up in contentious discussion. And suddenly everything was a conundrum. There he concluded how traditionally backward their perception was and how foolish they were. I listened to him carefully sipping the finest coffee and adoring it more. My garrulous friend went on being pompous about how his parents would goad him to marry the girl of his own caste. And right then, everything became crystal clear to me. He was impaired by their parents’ decision which made him boorish.
Having found out that he was in a relationship to a ‘lower caste’ girl, his parents tried to talk him out of the relationship. The reason was obvious. They did not want society to make fun of them. My friend despised the notion to abandon his true love. And rightly so. And the reason that his parents brought forward was not cogent. His beloved was adept, gifted and was thriving towards the beautiful career. Therefore, it was not rational of them to rule out the relation on the sole basis i.e. caste. If she belonged to the same caste, they would have loved to get someone like her for their son. Only the ‘caste’ seemed to be the deterrent which they could not condone.
It was utterly wrong of his parents to draw conclusion like that. But what we (current generation people) do and how we react to the thing further enervates the cause. We fail to apprehend that any first reaction that we get from our parents are not immutable but they are only empirical. They tend to have their stance on that very basis but any healthy talk can alter that. I asked my friend whether he tried to develop logical discussion after their parents’ initial reaction. To my dismay, he replied that their response only agitated him more and he was left with implacable feelings. Subsequently, he occluded the conversation (with his parents) with sheer anger and hurled out of the house. And there he was, in front of me, fuming and cursing his ‘obdurate’ parents.
Perplexed by his behavior, I asked him if he would accept his children if they turn out to be homosexual. He pondered long and hard. As far as I have known him, he was always a bit skeptical about welcoming homosexuality. His response was an uncertain yes. I further asked him if the answer would be an instant yes or a thoughtful yes. He knew where I was going with the conversation and he looked at me with the guilty eyes. Without waiting his reply, I asked him if he considered homosexuality a stigma. He was truthful that he would accept homosexuality as far as it stayed outside his home. When I asked him if his parents ever had a problem with inter-caste marriages outside his home, his reply was a concrete ‘no’. I added if he was any different from his parents, then? Wasn’t that a hint of hypocrisy bashing them when he would also act alike with the similar agenda? He remained quiet. His silence was a tacit agreement.
We complain a lot about the generation gap and how our perceptions never intersect. But we never realize that their belief and their decision are not always the product of their insularity. We, as their children, should play our part in updating them with the ‘positive’ changes in our society. Their quibble on certain things should not be considered perennial. With logical discussions and proper treatment (without hurting their ego), elder generation can rescind their outdated views and will not refute any kind of progressive changes. We want our parents to take quite a leap but the right thing to do is to lead them to it. Perhaps, our timeline is the one with rapid changes overall and our parents have experienced quite an alteration. It would be foolish of us to dent their transformation. We belong to the generation who think we are always right and any changes we embrace should also be acknowledged by other generations without delay. We expect older generation to undergo changes frequently and get to the modern side of the world without any hesitation but often times, it’s us who forget to build the bridge for them.