Battle of the generations

To a majority of the world, respect is a virtue, but as times and people change, it seems that it’s become a commerce; something to be earned, to be traded, something that has real-world value. We no longer live in a world where we’re entitled to respect, such as the world of our parents and our grandparents lived in. If you look around, that world seems like a time that never existed; there’s no trace of old-school values anywhere to be found.

Well, almost no trace. The people who lived in that now nonexistent world, commonly known as Generation X (born between the 1960s and the 1980s) and those before them, are still here and continue to embody values everyone else seems to have left behind. They still consider respect a virtue, something that’s given to someone based on who they are rather than what they do. Today, Millennials have transformed the way society interprets respect.

However, today’s teenagers give respect where respect is due. It’s not something you’re entitled to; respect is something that you have to earn.

And this is where we reach our conflict, when you mix those who believe they’re entitled to respect and those who want them to earn it, problems are inevitable. Generation X says the world is going “to hell in hand basket” with the disrespectful kids down the block, and those very same kids say Generation X is holding innovation hostage. Anything from new technology to new world views, they’ve openly rejected everything that makes our newly innovated world innovated. One common source of conflict is our technology, they don’t know how to use our devices and they seem completely unwilling to even acknowledge their existence or the important role they play in our lives; and while they are much more willing to coordinate social events by sending the message through the grapevine, the idea of VidCon, a national convention for anyone who loves anything on the Internet is considered completely other.

It’s a shame, and these conflicts of ideals only seem to be getting worse. As the world changes and introduces new ways of experiencing life, the tension seems to be on the rise. The clash of archaic and adolescent clans doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.

The only advice I can really give is to be considerate of the different worlds that we live in and the different ways we see that world.

Everyone should think about the different cultures we find ourselves exposed to, compared to the older generations, and take that into account when critiquing other people, even if they don’t. I also ask that we acknowledge each other as other human beings, capable of mistakes and grave miscalculation and that we acknowledge those same things in ourselves.