“Just because something is normal doesn’t make it right.” Words mentioned overnight by a pastor on my favourite radio station 2CH.
These words struck a chord with me as only the evening before, a dear friend of mine, who is more like close family, vented that her granddaughter who once adored her was now verbally abusing her and no longer shows her respect. My friend has been hurt so much by this, it’s affected her future plans.
Shes’s heartbroken because although she didn’t raise her from childhood, her granddaughter spent every available moment with her, and when she couldn’t, she’d talk on the phone everyday availing her grandmother of the highlights of that day. According to my friend, the world revolved around her granddaughter.
She’s angry because she would spend every available cent on her granddaughter, and in later years, on her great grandkids.
But now when she calls her granddaughter to see how she and her kids are doing, all she receives is foul language and accusations of suffering with dementia despite my dear friend being sound of mind.
What happened? What went wrong? Despite raising three kids of her own, this young mum appears to have lost all love and respect for her adoring grandmother.
From what I hear of my friends, ranging in ages from 20s to 80s, and too, thinking about my own life experience as a daughter, this appears to be the norm. Not to all my friends, but most. This includes my own family.
I think sadly of my own youth where I showed disrespect to my mother during my teens as I always seemed to be angry for some reason or another. I did eventually start to appreciate my mother in later years when I thought of all the hardship she went through. But to this day, I can’t understand what made me act out to begin with… was it the hormones or something else?
I get that in the animal kingdom, younger generations will lash out at their seniors as a sign that they’re mature enough and strong enough to take on a mate and will often battle with the father to prove this. Wolves and lions are a good example.
In some species, for example, some spiders, the young will even eat their parents, it’s a sacrifice their parents will instinctively make for the sake of their offspring,.
On the other side of the coin, animals like meerkats and beavers, for a certain period of time, will stick around to help their mother raise and care for their younger siblings until they feel the time is necessary for them to leave and start their own families.
So even if the animal kingdom can get it right, what went wrong with humans? Why do the youth of today feel the need to lash out at their elders?
Admittedly, in a lot of cultures, the offspring are expected to care for their elders, and many see this as an honour, and even the bible says, “Honour thy father and mother” yet in today’s civilized world, this is far from the trend.
Perhaps those who still live in, what’s classed as, 3rd world countries, have got it right. When modernity isn’t at play, the youth become a healthy part of the community and continue to respect their elders.
It does seem sad that in a world that’s supposed to be looking toward the future, the contempt of today’s youth towards their elders, casting them off to the side, not showing respect and failing to learn from them, only serves to send this civilized world into a downward spiral.
The generation gap needs to be closed. Old fashioned respect for elders needs to become the norm again, perhaps only then, will our civilization advance into the future and beyond.