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Generational Gaps

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Woodstock, the notorious hippy movement of the 1960's, was this event a display of rebellion or revolution. Is this gathering and other historical happenings examples or proof of generation gaps; or is it a myth fueled by the uncertainty and distrust of the younger generation by the older? Like the 1960's youth, the 1980's youth lacked seemed to lack obedience. The youth established a counter culture, sporting the punk rock scene, mullets, and other art forms and expressions. They turned away from their elder’s sense of decency and appropriate behavior for an alternative they found better. There is the issue of generation gaps, a generation believing that the following is missing essential values and the belief that generations are becoming less productive over time. However generation gaps are a myth, generations are not becoming deficient there is simply more attention focused on younger generations, due to our global communication network. It is only natural that the older generations feel insecure about the younger. Without question generations heavily disagree in an un-yielding range of issues, however that does not constitute that generations are deteriorating, because all generations come full circle and generational gaps is disproved throughout the annals of time.



All people under a authoritative structure rebel, children against parents, prisoners against guards, and younger generation against the older. A generation gap is a difference in between two consecutive generations, and to a degree this is true, there are big differences between generations. However that is not the manner the term is used today, it is widely believed (by the older generation) that generations are deteriorating which is made evident by their lack of manners, among other traits. The youth of today are constantly told they have no respect, and indirectly, the adults, imply that such a thing never happened in their generation. The evidence points to the contrary. Its like they suffer from short term memory, looking at 1980's popular youth culture there was big move from that of the 1960's in which their parents grew up in. There was a lot more racial mixing, understanding of the mentally handicapped, and familiarity with technology. Young and old took opposing sides often, but that is not a new trend once again it is only natural, for example heavy metal was loathed by the senior generation and artist and fan were labeled as demonic. The youth where frustrated by this because they saw it as a way to express themselves and it was being greeted with such hostility. Presence of rebellion does not prove the presence of generational deterioration, were youth marching for civil rights, women’s rights, black rights, gay rights or Obama supporters “failures,” these youth generation achievements show they went against their parents or pushed their agenda forward. In other words they “rebelled,” but they turned out fine and more advanced in many ways.



Generations, as we have seen, come full circle. A mother with a difficult child illustrates the ideology of those who argue for generation gaps and it is matter of perspective. One could say, those who believe in generation gaps, if the child does not get his or her act together then she will not make it far. On the other more practical side, you can say not only will she learn from her mistakes but she will be able to relate to troubled people and solve their problems, this is a more logical conclusion. The latter is how one should think, assuming they are of sound thought. Again it is expected that young generation’s exhibit childish, foolish, and ignorant behavior but that does not warrant the thinking that they are devolving. All generation have done the same things in their early and late stages rebel and advance, reform and progress. So generation gaps are built on a foundation of false pretense and self righteousness that is why it can not stand as a valid truth.



If not yet convinced the volumes of history cry out. The 1920's urban jazz scene, was an exciting time in American history, because of what was going on in jazz night clubs, racial interaction and acceptance, a trait Americans had never showed before. Unsurprisingly mothers and fathers were outraged to discover where, when, what, and with who their children were spending their nights. This was a rebellion against the strict accepted and understood prejudice of their day by the youth. History applause’s them, but their parents were disappointed and disgusted. The parents blamed their kid’s behavior on generational gaps. When the younger generation finds flaws in the older or does not follow their lead, they are marked as rebellious and disobedient. The older generation does not have immunity from questioning, this is the self righteous attitude that generation gaps rises out of. When the younger does not mimic the older and stands up for what they believe is morally right they are condemned, and since they do not look like and behave like their father generation they are labeled as bastardly and backwards.



The thin line between rebel and revolutionary is barely visible in this argument. Revolutionary by definition is, venturing outside or beyond established procedure. Rebel by definition is a person who resists any authority. The difference of the two words only seems to be the context they are used in and how they are phrased. The term rebel is used in a harsher context and that is why these young, and often right, generations have been called rebellious, on the other hand revolutionary is used in a more positive context




Ultimately it is fear that drives the myth of generation gaps, fear of what’s to come coupled with a bad case of “jumping the gun”. In a sense it all boils down to perspective, and it’s the younger generation that sees the destructive mistakes of the old, and because of the submissive position of the younger generation they can see all the underlying mistakes of the older generation that they commit so habitually they do not even notice. Whether it is health, political, social or cultural issues, it seems the older generation always forgets they were disobedient and rebellious in their youth. History records the proof against generation gaps, time and time again you see youth and their counter culture, but they become successful adults and you’re left wondering, and where is the gap? Gap, an interruption in continuity, the goal of every generation is to make life better and easier for the next; a gap, in that context, would mean a generation did not fulfill its duty. Recent history has no record of any gaps, for the most part generations have been progressing and made the world better for the next. Generation gaps are a falsehood, history proves it, and all generations come full circle.



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