The bridge between the age gap
Some wisdom from a 16-year-old girl.
March 7, 2017
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Standing in line at the Noodles and Company on State Line road, a man in his late 50s approached my mom and I and began talking about the new electronic menus they have. He turned to me and said, “This is your generation’s fault.” As I stood and took the blame by smiling awkwardly, I turned to my mom for something to say and began to think of half a dozen comebacks.
“Should I be the one to take the blame for this even though I personally don’t have a preference over electronic menus?”
“Since you can blame me for electronic menus, does that mean I can blame you for our world’s environment?”
Luckily my amazing mother came to my rescue and answered with a simple, “Oh yeah, we noticed the menus were different too!”
Usually, a situation like this wouldn’t make me that uncomfortable, but I’ve been working three to four days in a restaurant for seven months, where the majority of customers are older than me and I’ve realized some of the gaps there seems to be between generations.
While this may seem like an unsolvable task, just think about how simple it would be to let go of certain differences you and your siblings have or even those few things younger generations at school seem to consistently do just to get on your nerves. Cutting in line? Let it go. Singing that overplayed song on the radio? Don’t hate, you know you secretly love it too.
By building those simple steps up with the little things, we’ll start to forget the gap that separated us in the first place. If we do that, as we get older, we won’t be approaching teenagers asking them why they had to create those floating menus that never stop moving.
There needs to be a basis of respect between all people no matter what age. I’m not saying we should get rid of the whole “respect your elders” philosophy, but if each generation continues to treat the other with disrespect, it will continue to be an endless cycle of blame and hate.
While I don’t have an exact answer to this problem, I do have some basic words of wisdom (yes, I’m allowed to have wisdom at the age of 16- believe it or not). Treat others the way you want to be treated, regardless of age.