Back when I was about 14, during my English classes we had a few hours to discuss the Generation Gap. What have changed from previous decades in terms of music, fashion, habits and trends. How people’s interests used to shift or stuck in certain periods. It’s like the established generation stays stuck with the stuff they grew up with and somehow “refuses” or rejects those new flows and arrivals, or simply couldn’t follow the trend as fast as the younger generation. I thought it was a nonsense discussion and I’d never fall in that trap when growing old.
I assumed back than I would never had that issue with my kids, that I’d be a modern father and human being, keeping it up with all new trends and going along with my kids as they would make me a cool dad as besides their dad wanted to be their mate, their best friend.
If I needed to define myself in terms of generation, I’d say I’m from the 80’s. Thou off course the 70’s are there as well as the 90’s and in my opinion also the 00’s and now the 10’s. From Abba to Led Zeppelin, from Talk Talk to The Cure.
Reality is, when I look at my own kids seems like that idea of not allowing a generation gap to grow between us went flushed away. Painfully I admit I’m not that different than anyone else. And yes I may well know current pop starts and wannabe’s, I may well know the ultimate trends and buzz of social media, fashion, pop cultures but even if I try not to be critical or judgmental, I can’t help it to think “old times were better” and making comparisons that Justin Bieber songs or talent can’t be compared to Bruce Springsteen.
In the end this is a nonsense and useless waist of energy as regardless of your intentions, there is a real generation gap. And it doesn’t matter how hard you try to keep yourself up to date with any modern trends, you’ll always have the memories and emotional attachments to part of the life you already lived. All good things are there (the bad ones as well) and you’ll always refer to those memories when you compare. That’s one of the differences to our kids. They live more in the day to day reality, or even in the “next real thing”. New generation doesn’t have that luggage as reference and it doesn’t matter how hard you try to pass that legacy of memories, they haven’t lived it and it won’t be perceived as you experienced it.
There’s no right or wrong, and yes we’ll always have memories. Sometimes we still remember a simple passage of our life at school, with a colleague, really nothing particular, but it’s there (probably because it meant something for us at the time or marked us by its simplicity). Use your memory as a “storage place” where you go to find stuff that might be helpful but don’t get stuck there and don’t hold to those memories.
Sometimes we revisit places in our memories and we think “how nice that trip was”. But if you try to visit again it might have less impact or relevance. Circumstances change, moments change, people change or even better, evolve.