Men during their evolutionary course, with main purpose the improvement of their life conditions, confronted various difficulties of social, political, ethical or even mental “content”. The way of solving those problems each time differs from generation to generation, fact that has as a result the known “generation gap”.
Main role in the analysis of the phenomenon has the clear definition of the term “generation gap”. With this is meant to be difference in ideas, perceptions and attitude between younger and eldest people. In other words, the different way of perceiving situations, circumstances and incidents between young and old men, is what determines the especially intense nowadays generation gap.
Examining the deepest causes of the phenomenon, the absolutely understandable generally dissimilarity among generations, “appears” as the most important of them. This dissimilarity is attributed to the particular circumstances that each generation grows up with (George Barna). The environment into each one of them is raised, defines their character. Those different characteristics and the different psychology of generations composes one of the greatest causes of the phenomenon.
In addition to the above, young people during their puberty, revolt, questioning everything and everyone that is part of their environment, in a try to become independent. Furthermore, trying to achieve “change” they confront the establishment, which represented mainly by other “ages”. Young people function impulsively, showing no interest in the word “must” and react according to their desires. Young people act with determination and strength in contrast to the “elders”. The last ones, “approaching” more conservative conceptions are less daring and many times they question the impulsiveness of the first ones. Moreover eldest people, making comparisons between their time and the “now” and thinking all the difficulties they had to deal with, they don’t understand those that young people have nowadays to confront.
The main cause of the phenomenon though, is the lack of even some elementary will for dialogue and understanding. Both of the sides remain stable in their benefits, having no intention to compromise that’s why the phenomenon of generation gap composes a permanent problem that bothers every society from the right “start” of humanity, during the centuries.
In our days though the “generation gap” takes a specifically intense character. Our era is transition era and history has shown that every transition period “takes” the figure of deeper crisis because of the collision between the new and the old. Furthermore, given the fact that young people nowadays are more independent that in past years having more expanded education, they claim in a more dynamic way, demand and “press” intensifier. They desire radical changes and protection of their “freedom” and rights and they fight for them. Consequently the collisions between the generations are “heavier” and the gap is getting large and larger. For that reason, now more than ever, the finding and adaptation of ways to solve the problem is an absolute necessity even if it is a difficult “task”.
Analyzing the measures that are required to deal with the certain differences and generally with the generation gap problem, “appears” obviously the primary need for dialogue. It is necessary for both of the sides to “sit down” and through discussion, negotiations and mutual concessions to finally conclude in a point of agreement that is going to “limit” if not to solve the problem.
It is also required, the existence of “both sides” will for understanding and respect. Young people ought to recognize the elders’ experience and give a thought to the fact that in the future they are going to be “old” generation themselves. On the other hand older people should consider the fact that in the past, they were in the young’s place and try at least to comprehend their revitalizing temperament. In a strange way there is no need for mental youth to remain open minded in order to discover the truth and at the same time there is no need for maturity in order to be able to recognize the truth when it is “found”. Lastly the “adaptation” of objective criterions and the will for self-judgment compose another two very important conditions, in order to make the solving of the problem and existent reality.
The absolute need for finally with the generation gap issue becomes even more obvious, considering the consequences that it has for the individual and the society in general. The person rejecting everything the antagonistic “team” supports looses his objectivity. That way, young people pass on the “experience” and what history has indicated during the centuries. On the opposite side older people, judging the new evolutions and the scientific progress, they contribute in the “delay” of the general progress. The without thinking rejection of perceptions in both cases, makes the individual an uncompromising person(Edna Aphek).
The gap’s consequences though, are extremely not only in the “personal” level but in the social one as well. The society instead of composing a unified “body” that united confronts the appearing problems each time, “splits” in two parts. That way the society looses the unique character that defines every health and well organized society and gets weaker and more vulnerable toward possible dangers, that differently would have the strength to deal with or even avoid (Jason Cohen and Michael Krugman, 1994) .
Concluding, the generation gap is attributed to many and various causes, with psychological and social stand, that in their majority have as main “ingredient” the lack of willing for dialogue and comprehension. The especially “heavy” character though of the phenomenon, in our era, makes it solvating a tremendous important issue.
Referring now to how this issue is related to the student development course, the answer “appears” clearly out of the issue itself. Considering the content of the “generation gap” problem and the purpose that this particular course “serves” it is easy to understand the great significance of the analysis of the first one to the last one. Specifically the generation gap problem is about the collisions that younger people have with the “old” generation. It is about young people in general their attitude and the different way of perceiving between the “old” and the “new”.
The student development course is about informing the students about life during college and helping them to better understand the problems and difficulties they may face. Given the fact that in our students, at least in their majority, are “missioners” of the silent “war” between the “change” and the “establishment”, there is no doubt that the generation gap issue is one of those problems. It is a subject that occupies the student society and that is why the examining of this issue has huge importance in this specific course.
There is no doubt that our world is circling and circling. That means that in order to accomplish change, what is needed is a sudden turn an this turn can only be done by the younger generation of the world. That is a kind of “tradition” according to history. Only the youth has the power to revitalize life and dare what the eldest people didn’t. This “ability” of young people, for the sake of humanity, should be “exploited” properly by the total of the society. Even though that is a difficult “task”, since from generation to generation everything changes, conditions, perceptions, ideas and theories while we should all do is “take advantage” of their enthusiasm, their strength and passion, in the right time of course, when their urge is complete and mature (Niche).
Humans owe it to their past, their present and their future to finally deal with the known as generation gap permanent problem. Only the past can’t create the future and the future cannot be created only by the present. The “voice” of the past is the one that leads the “urge” of the future to the avant-garde. The combination of those two phenomenal opposite terms, the “past” and the “future”, is the one that is going to lead to the wanted result… the normal and unstoppable evolution of humanity and society in general…
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Topic: The social problem of the generation gap
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