The gap between the old and the young people in a society is called the generation gap. The old have wisdom and experience, but they are sometimes irritating. On the other hand, young people are inexperienced and impatient. Old people think that during their time’s young boys and girls were more obedient, better-behaved and had greater respect for their elders. They opine that lack of respect for the elder and disrespect to the traditional system of the society will bring disaster for the young generation. Young boys and girls, on the other hand, think — ‘The old are fools’. In their view, the old cannot understand the present situation and cannot welcome any change in the old system.
There are a number of factors responsible for such a generation gap. The way of life is now so busy and so fast that parents find little time to devote to their children. So the intimate relation between the elders and the young are getting loosened day-by-day. Moreover, many of the young ones are the victims of frustration for unemployment. They do not find any job when they come out of the schools or colleges. In such a situation, some of them become anti-socials and try to break the law of the land. Those who are somehow idealistic feel disgusted to find corruption in every walk of life. They become the angry generation in turn.
The last but not the least cause is that the young generation finds it difficult to suit to the age-old tradition of the country, especially in the age of globalisation. To express their unhappiness and difference of opinion with the existing state of affairs, young people revolt or behave badly. They have little respect for the old traditions, customs and manners. Thus the gap between the old and the new generations is widening day by day. The gap is, of course, wider in the Western countries. It goes to such an extent that the old and the new generations live separately. However, in India, the situation is not so bad. Though the traditional joint family system is about to break up, mostly the parents still live with their adult ones under one umbrella.
We must find a remedy for the malady and away for a golden handshake between the old and the young. In order to bridge the generation gap, the old should be more sympathetic towards the young. The old must admit that the old is not always gold. They should realize the emotion, ambition and problems of the young. On the other hand, the young should realize that they have no vast experience of life as the old have. So they should give patient hearing and put necessary values to the advice of the old. We believe this cooperative spirit will act as a healthy tonic to build up the bond between the old and the young. A fine blend of age and youth is needed for further progress and welfare in future.