The term ‘generation’ is traditionally used to refer to a group of people born and living during the same period of time, which usually spans 15 years. With four different generations making up today’s workforce, it can be difficult understanding what they all need and where they are best utilized. Each group brings a different dynamic to the table, but the only way to truly harness their potential is to understand their generational characteristics. To understand the wide difference in perspectives, we first need to define the four generations: A modern man feels overwhelmed to see the challenging lives of human beings a few generations earlier. Our predecessors used to live in caves, consume uncooked food, travel thousands of miles on foot. They couldn’t get clothing to cover their bodies, and they didn’t care about finding shelter to cover their heads. Their quality of living was no different than that of beasts. Yet they were satisfied. Scientific advancement has equipped us with many luxuries that were unprecedented throughout the days of our forefathers. A modern man pleasures himself in numerous ways. We have overcome the elements of nature, we have tamed the atom, we have reached the moon, we have conquered space, and yet we are not complete, content or fulfilled. At the expense of moral and ethical principles, we have acquired physiological convenience. We dream of comforts of our own, not of others. We’re so engrossed in the capital snare. We are wasteful, lazy, depressed, angry and susceptible to all manner of indulgences. We have so many expectations that dissatisfaction and despair fill life. We have no recreation, no rest, no harmony and no joy. Humanity today is arrogant, hypocritical, deceptive, disingenuous and irritated today. A dividing line should be drawn between warmth, convenience, ease, and true happiness. With the so-called marvelous gifts of scientific life, no doubt, it has become very comfortable; the universe has just about transformed into a supposed utopia, but satisfaction is a state of consciousness. It does not lie in the warmth and ease of items. All these so-called amenities and miracles of life have made our lives artificial, hollow and devoid of true happiness.
Our forefathers unquestionably had no other accommodations and facilities. In the field of sanitation, they have had numerous deadly illnesses, epidemics and negligence. There have been little higher education and vocational training in schools, colleges, institutions of higher education, but at the same time, they have not suffered from the many ills and evils of contemporary civilization. They were transparent, frank, compassionate, concerned, pitying, polite and sensitive. They had their soul and in all their actions and thought were they always motivated by ethical, spiritual and human ideologies. They had their inner harmony, pleasure and actualization. In the domain of materialism and possession, a modern man lives.
Our inner and true selves are starving and hardened. The human ideals like love, empathy, emotion, fellowship, kindness etc. have increasingly been marginalized in this world of scientific advancement. Man is becoming increasingly egoistic and too money-minded.. The exploitation of knowledge has turned our future into a bitter one. our existence is dehumanized and disillusioned. Everything that has been stated so far actively demonstrates that our ancestors were much happier than ourselves.
What are the other big difference old and new generations? It is said the technology is the big difference. There was a time that old generation did not have technology, but they used to have what they have on their hands. This generation is way different because this generation has more technology and communicates easily. However older generations are hard to connect with because their attitude and what they believe isn’t understood. Today? In most cases, an unnatural death comes on an anonymous hospital bed or in a frightful ICU with tubes in every part of the body, respirator, pampers and total strangers in the garb of doctors and nurses (however good or efficient they may be). This is scary for old people who die with mental trauma and fear instead of going gently into the next world. The mental-state at the time of death is most important for the soul’s state of consciousness on the other side. What science cannot cure, it prolongs. We can even say that in some cases, it tortures old people. Wherever possible, old people should have a calm and peaceful death at home, surrounded and indulged by a loving family who can play their favourite music, talk to them and give them their favourite treats.
Much of today’s life is determined purely by monetary, financial and economic reasons, making people self-centered, selfish and dissatisfied. There’s no family life. It’s an age of double income and no kids. How many families have meals together? …………. Very few. Our grandparents had nothing compared to what we have today – no fridge, car, air-conditioner, television, cell-phone, washing-machine, dish-washer, etc. What must have been the secret of their contentment and happiness? No fridge meant freshly cooked food and not cold left-overs or packaged food. No air-conditioner meant they had to go out to a sea-shore or a garden for cool air. No microwave resulted in nutritious slow-cooked food. No car encouraged people to walk and be healthy. No telephones, computers, TV or cell phones resulted in meeting friends face to face in the real world and not in the unreal world of Face book. Still, everyone seemed happy and contended. Our grandparents had nothing but they had everything but we hardly have anything in spite of the so-called progress. There are only a few real friends today and everyone is social climbing in order ‘to arrive’. Trouble is, everyone tries to arrive fast, causing chaos. A great many people are stressed out, depressed and unhappy in spite of luxurious ‘toys’ like cars, bigger homes, weekend-flats, cocktail parties and foreign holidays. Look within you and be happy – no matter what your outward circumstances are. Be contended with what you have and enjoy your journey on planet earth which is merely a transit lounge between incarnations and you already have a hotline to happiness!
(The author is a teacher at Govt High School Brakpora Anantnag. Views are his own)