Belonging to Generation Y and being in the prime of my youth, I have often been disturbed by this question asked by the elders. According to them, the values, cultures, traditions and laws preserved by them and their ancestors are going to the dogs because of the youth today.
On a personal level, I noticed faults with their generation too. Not once, but many times. I had to endure these comments because I wasn’t allowed to answer back. Else they’d say, the youth today do not respect their elders. A weapon to stop youngsters from speaking up. After much observation, I realized that being quiet simply proved them right. This isn’t a blame game. This is to open their eyes to reality and stop the blame game.
1. The Youth Today do not respect their elders – I was taking my 80 year old grandmother to a doctor and the old auto rickshaw driver was driving recklessly. My grandma was finding it very difficult and so I asked him to slow down. He didn’t, saying he was in a hurry.
While returning a very young rickshaw driver took us home. He said, “This road is very bad. Full of pot-holes. It will tire Amma. I’ll take the interior path.”
I waited for another person to compare the old & the new generation.
2. Internet & movies are spoiling today’s youth – I know friends who watch porn and haven’t till date, even for a moment behaved without dignity.
I know middle to older-aged men comprising of people with esteemed professional degrees in superior positions who have brought forth vulgar requests, made lives of employees miserable and in certain circumstances, groped their employees.
That was just one of the many faces.
3. The Music Today is Soulless – “The music today is soulless”, they said. Things from our childhood & youth are soaked with memories that their shade will be evergreen. No matter how wonderful an experience you have in your middle age, you will compare it to your youth & childhood and find that it never matches. It is the same with everything else including music & movies.
I accept that there were some soul stirring irreplaceable songs in the past. There are such songs even today. There were musical wizards in your days. But today is no different. If you cannot pick even a single soulful music from today, it’s because you have convinced yourself that your days were the best. It is your mindset that prevents you from enjoying them.
4. This generation is all about parties & DJs – This comment is way too common. I ask what is wrong? I ask the elders if there was nothing of this sort in their youth. I have watched the old black & white movies that featured clubs and cabaret dances. I’d say they have depicted them in such bad light that the gen X should be ashamed of themselves to point fingers at gen Y or Z .
We do have pubs and parties. But since when did dancing and socializing become an offence? Since when did it begin to determine the character of a person or a generation?
5. The Youth Today do not have respect for Indian Values & Traditions– I admit that I am not aware of many of our traditions. I’d love to learn them and I will learn them.
I know Tambrahm friends who eat Non veg, smoke, drink alcoholic beverages etc. They may not follow the daily rituals. But they are kind souls, who listen and can be reasoned with. On the other hand, there are elders who follow ALL the rituals to perfection and the next moment, argue irrationally, use abusive words and belittle everyone around.
I have aunts & mom’s colleagues who have been subjected to brutal domestic violence by the ‘tradition followers’. I have cousins and friends who are treated with care & respect by their husbands who may or may not follow these traditions.
6. Women in this generation wear scanty clothes & are arrogant – Being a woman from this generation, I do not wear scanty clothes. Arrogance does come when it is called for by comments like these. Long gone is the concept of a woman who is always patient, listening and affirming everything told to her by the society and pretending to be sati savitri. This is where I voice my thoughts.
Women wear clothes that they are comfortable in. Most of us know what to wear and when to wear them. You could see the same girl wearing shorts while going out with her friends and draping a beautiful Saree while going to temples. The women today are capable of adapting to their surroundings and embracing change. This something to be proud of.
The older generations faced a lot of tribulations to give us comfortable lives. We, the youth of today, respect them and the values they taught us. We also have the inquisitiveness to know why certain things are the way they are and we question them. We party and have fun. We help the ones in need. There are some poisoned minds among us too. But that doesn’t mean, all of us are the same.
The youth today comprises of people who, without a second thought formed a team and extended help during the floods in Chennai. The youth today comprises of youngsters who listen to elders insulting the ‘youth today’ and out of respect keep their views to themselves.
Finally, I am not sorry to break your bubble: