I had the pleasure just before Christmas of having my nephews come to visit, David and Luke. They paid me a treasured compliment. They said I ‘seemed young’. Woo hoo!
It caused me to ponder why that might be. Here are a few thoughts …
Firstly it could be because I’ve come to accept that my generation’s values are different to those of the current generation … not ‘better’. Every generation has unique challenges – pros and cons to being born at that time. There is no better or worse there just is.
(As an aside and if you are interested in this topic, here is a great article Zoë and Mel shared with me recently that puts it all in beautiful context. http://m.huffpost.com/us/
Secondly, I recognise that my children can teach me things … that they are quite likely to know more than me on many given topics. It’s my observation that as we age its easier than ever to become dogmatic. C’mon we’ve had decades to try things out and think about things! It’s easy to slip into that sense of superiority that we know things the younger generation don’t. Big mistake. I believe indulging ourselves in this way inhibits our ability to listen to and communicate with them … sets us apart from them and creates the generation gap, I guess.
Thirdly, I’m able to accept my children as young adults with thoughts, perceptions, feelings and conclusions that may be similar to mine or different. Either way is okay. At some point I accepted that they were responsible for themselves (during their teenage years). It wasn’t my job to train them anymore. Of course it is lovely when they come for advice or to talk things over, but in the end I respect the decisions they make in their lives.
Is this why my nephew’s perceived me as ‘young’? I wonder.
Perhaps it’s because I try on some level to embrace some of the emerging thinking and changing cultural values, despite my baby boomer conditioning.
Perhaps it’s all a mix that just comes out as ‘me’.
I’d love to know your thoughts.