Generational differences help us learn and grow

     Some of the best stories and life lessons I have heard came from my grandparents or older family members. The admiration I feel when listening to their life stories has inspired me as life seems so much different from what it was back then. When you put yourself in the mindset of a time when a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder was 60 cents, you may look at life a little differently.

     There is a divide between generations as each has faced challenges and historical events. For example, while a few of my teen years have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not the same compared to millennials who were faced with delayed homeownership caused by slowed economic growth. Even though people can be only a generation apart and experience the same events, there can be differences. 

     According to Pew Research Center, “There are fundamental differences across generations, from their racial and ethnic composition, to how quickly they reach certain milestones such as marriage, to their political and ideological orientations.”

     People often believe that we can learn from our past mistakes. What better way to learn from those mistakes than to learn from the people who lived through those mistakes? Older individuals have experience and knowledge from their lives as younger individuals understand newer technology and fresh perspectives.

     As a member of Gen Z, we can often get a bad rap for always being on social media and our phones, but we are the first generation where our lives seem to be controlled by what is on our phones. Could some of that hate diminish if older generations looked at it from our viewpoint?

     I know I take too many pictures of my dog and have many random pictures with friends that can be deleted, but I never will. Photos with friends and family are important to me, so even though I probably did not need to take my phone out at that moment to take that picture of my dog or with friends, I did. 

     Little things like that may be hard for older generations to understand, as their lives were not always based on taking pictures of random moments throughout the day. The same idea applies to my viewpoint of older generations as some of the things that were common for them I find abnormal. But even though I find it different, it does not mean that it was wrong because it was just what was common for the time.

     When you are young, it can seem like you have the whole world ahead of you, but when you are old, you have seen what the world has to offer. We can learn from the older generations just as they can learn from us.