In order to reduce Generation Gap

2021-12-20 13:55
The present Baby Boomer generation is most likely to experience Generation Gap with the strongest cultural impact. The world is rapidly changing with improvements in technology, medical care and quality of life as a whole. Following the Industrial Revolution, the Information Revolution contributes to the prevalent generational divide.

We are living in a society where average life span for a human being is stretched with advanced technology and medical researches. More study and investment is put into elders and it will continue to grow as time goes by. However, it also means that the gap between elders and young adults will be larger. Two generations will have different ideas and understandings that may not coincide with each other in the future if it is not changed beforehand.

This gap is can be explained as generation gap but it can be also differences of lifestyles toward cultural gap. Elders have more experiences but do not have power and energy to receive social services. Young adults have time and have access to public services but do not know how to involve or support their origin of community to do it. This can be only integrated by various activities between these two generations by understanding each other’s needs and wants.

I am now a senior and it is time to prepare for my retirement. But I feel young at heart and my mind is still active. I have lived in Canada for 27 years, working in social and family service agency and being involved in the lives of whole family such as children and youth too as a therapist. Even though I have worked closely with them and tried to understand them, I realize that the gap between generations is inevitable. , I feel it is important to reduce that gap. However, I find that people do not give it much thought or importance. It is not an easy task to undertake.

Today’s world makes the gap between generations larger and larger. The world has changed so drastically from our grandparents’ time. The gap has grown, not only due to language and communication issues, but also because of the gap in culture, and the development of IT and lack of one-on-one dialogue due to the proliferation of social media.

The young people communicate in very different ways than their elders did. The problem of communication experienced in different age groups brings challenges and tasks that we must solve. But who will be the flag-bearers? The burden should not fall only on the shoulders of the young.

You cannot blame the old for being distant from youth; however, the generation gap can’t be reduced if responsibility isn’t taken for each other. Seniors need to have opportunities to hang out with young people and enjoy their time together. Lacking life experience, young people find it hard to understand seniors and seniors are likely puzzled and find it hard to understand today’s youth and their values. Gaining "know-how” from older people is important.

Where to start? Do young people approach seniors to reduce the generation gap? Do older people have to go first? I approach young people with passion and a positive attitude in my professional life, but it is not always easy. The differences in age, appearance, language expression, and lifestyle sometimes make it difficult to bridge the gap. Invisible differences in culture, values, and thought also make it difficult to reach each other.

How to reduce the gap? In my experience, we need to understand each other, meet with each other and share each other’s lives with confidence. If I can practice insight and inspiration in my life little by little, the gap can be reduced, and young people and seniors will be able to share their lives with each other with more communication, meaning and rewards in life.

Is there any solution to overcome the generation gap? The most effective solution is to focus on ‘acquisition of computer use.’ Now there are even less opportunities to communicate with people without using computers and the Internet, for example using SNS (Social Network Service). In any case, cultures and values can trend as time passes. For instance, the values dominating an older period can resurface in subsequent generations. It is hard to overcome the effects of generation gap by oneself. Therefore, attending family healing and counseling programs and conversing with each other have positive effects. These services are provided by For You Telecare Family Service.

Suyeon Jin, Executive Director at FUTFS

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Welcome to FUTFS, a Toronto Korean Community. FUTFS is a Korean-Canadian community that has been operating in Toronto for over 20 years, providing counseling and outreach services, and providing various educational programs and services for seniors, adults, and youth. In addition to free training, there are also many events. We appreciate your participation.

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