Several generations comprise the population. People raised in different generations tend to hold different perspectives on topics because of the gap in cultural understanding between them. This gap needs to be bridged in order for different generations to understand one another, and for society to progress as a whole.
Today’s youth are motivated to get involved with and be aware of the events happening around them. Youth today are interested in learning more about social issues such as education, poverty, hunger, corruption, and several others. However, in order for youth to make positive impact, they need to modify their perspectives on progress. Sometimes think that only older populations deal with certain issues, when in reality the issue also affects the younger generation and violates their rights as a human person. There is not a separation between old and young: we are all more interconnected that we realize.
It is actually harmful that a barrier exists between the old and new generations. A relationship between the elderly and the young is beneficial because it enables both to learn new skills. Young people could learn the wisdom to not to make the same mistakes, and both old and young would increase their knowledge about their community as a whole.
Unfortunately a huge problem exists: the number of young people nowadays is far less in proportion to the increasing populations of aging societies around the world. Thus, the elderly have less youth to pass on their intelligence and experiences to. As families become smaller and smaller nowadays, the chance to acquire skills and the awareness that comes from people who have already lived through several events is lost on a younger generation.
The importance of transferring the knowledge from one generation to another in a family is a link we need for the youth and the elderly so that youth have a fuller understanding of their positions measured against history, and so that youth may have the confidence and support to implement the solutions we need in order for development to happen.
The World Youth Alliance strongly affirms that the family is the fundamental unit of human society and believes that the community is obliged to protect and nurture the family. The family is the place where we get our foundations as a human person, including our beliefs, morals and values.
Different generations may hold separate beliefs, but the interdependence of generations is essential for the progression of a community. Passing on the wisdom of the elderly to younger generations will help to build and foster the development of society.
By Ronald Frederick S. Castañeda, an intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office