I don’t know who is less tolerant of one another, younger adults of older adults, or older adults of younger adults.
l am sorry to everyone who has felt small, unsmart, unreliable, and unrelatable in the presence of someone older or younger. Please release us from our errors.
I feel there is an optimism woven into the essence of youth. “These conversations are interesting! These ideas…NEW! We are at the beginning of change, of something happening; we can make something better.”
The older have already heard that conversation one hundred times, at least. It is no longer interesting. The ideas aren’t new and the current lack of change, wait; not only lack of change, but increased degradation, the observation that we are more lost than ever, a society in crisis, that basic skills for life are less clear, not more, and having spent four decades living on this earth, nothing has changed. In fact, everything is worse.
He, she, I…may sound bitter, which is difficult to tolerate, I understand, but actually, we are heart-broken.
Sometimes the sound of us, both the young and old, it’s the sound of the heart-broken. We have let ourselves down. We have let one another down. We are trying to continue, and it is hard.
Sometimes I feel like I have to bury my experiences, bury my knowledge and despair, put on something trendy and act enthusiastically (naive?) to be respected by younger adults. I just can’t do that. Instead, I watch.
I keep watching for someone to learn how to not get pissy when someone is pissy with them.
I would call that PROGRESS.
I keep watching for two people to grow into two, separate, Gigantic “I’s” and still know, and surrender to, the battle and magic of “we.”
I keep watching for people who every day say, “I’m sorry,” rather than, “That’s not what I meant.”
I keep watching for us to learn that I am in need, you are in need, and we must go easy on one another.
And rather than coddle the real and imagined slights from others, we can practice the Art of Letting Go, organic soil for a beautiful life.
The ones medicated by distraction, petty relationships, trivial banter, suffocating self-protection, delusion, obsession of the self, seem to be doing better at this game, if the game is called: Making Life Bearable.
I want a different game. One that lets the old feel old and tired, and still feel supported and heard by the young. One where I don’t have to look young or act young to be valued by the young. One that lets the young make mistakes and doesn’t keep score or track. One where the young don’t have to look older or act older to be valued by the older.
Next saturday, grab some younger adults and older adults and start some conversations. Your group can have two goals: to listen, really listen from your toes, and to speak honestly for yourself and your generation.
Here’s some questions:
what’s it like to be you?
how can I release people from my offenses quickly?
how can I heal?
is there more to be done?
what can I do?
what’s harder than it used to be? what’s easier?
what’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, and was it worth it?