5 Things We Can Learn from Youth

By My Act III on Apr 06, 2015 at 03:36 PM in Relationships, Interests, My Act III, Nurturing Your Soul

Society evolves and in every generational shift, older generations complain about the hopelessness of youth while youth complain of the ignorance and stubbornness of older generations. Given our current life spans we will live in a world created in one, two, three, even four generations behind us. The comfort that we feel in the world we share will depend on our ability to learn their lessons as well as share our lesson to them. Here are some things we can learn now:

  1. Understand where social barriers are being broken: Our generation was known for supporting the dissolution of barriers that limited people by races, genders, and social norms. We find justified pride in seeing those changes that improved the lives we hoped to affect. Given that we were social activists, we become a little hesitant to embrace some of the ways our trusted norms are being questioned. Discussing why they feel the way they do will help us understand, anticipate and understand the world we will soon participate in.
  2. Demand ourselves to be the center of attention: Baby boomers were a pampered generation but we learned not to be the center of attention. In over-crowded classrooms and in families that were larger than we anticipate today, we learned to share, wait our turn and follow the rules and regulations that were set up before us. Today’s generations know how to stand up for their rights; they negotiate for win-win outcomes and they do not believe rules should restrict an outcome that is favorable to their goals. We can learn from them to demand our own rights. It is ok to insist that people pay attention to us whether we are seeking medical attention or respect from marketers. We have a right that products be developed for us; that we have our say in news, and political issues. We need respect for our preferences in art, movies, fashion, cars and leisure. We have a right to be developed and respected in the work place with the same rights for training, opportunities and our voice needs to be heard in the community-at-large.
  3. Learn to appreciate changes in the arts: To listen to music from our high school years is equivalent to our parents listening to bubble-and-band music that had not been current in 40 years. Art, dance, music, and visuals are the eyes and forward thoughts of current culture. They reflect who we are, where we are going. Ask the younger generation what is current; discover why they are attracted to the sounds they hear; learn the names of the latest artists. Attend art museum openings and talk to the artists themselves. Explore without judgment and you will evolve.
  4. Learn the value of social media: We tend to think that social media is a waste of time but why does the following generations embrace it. We have a lot to learn from them here. In a world where people move quickly, social networking is a way to stay connected. A casual tweet or an invitation to congratulate someone on a recent accomplishment can keep old friendships active and fresh. The information age provides unlimited access to information and people; social networking provides a method to manage the huge influx of interests and activities. Younger generations have learned this automatically. They can be our greatest teachers.
  5. Learn to question if there is a better way: The baby boom generation wrote many of the process and procedures currently in place. We established these rules in our prime and now need to be open to the challenges of those who believe it can be done better, more efficiently with technology or a fresh outlook.

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