Older generation should learn to accept evolving values



As each new generation reaches a mature understanding of how the world works, perceptions about the best ways to live and interact with other people becomes a point of argument between them and generations before them.

Nana, I love you, but there is nothing inherently evil or immoral about the Internet or, “The way young folks talk today,” though certainly families using it in excess can alienate older generations and I am sorry that happens.

Technological and social advancements are a crucial part of civilization. As fearful as parents and older generations are that young people are changing and evolving the world around them — and are thus less in their control or under their influence — independence and differing views don’t have to cause concern.

One of the most debated topics by older generations is parenting. Many parents don’t understand the best way to raise gen x’s and millennials, and have been failed by parenting books that encourage this idea of “helicopter parenting.”

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As much as it might make sense to look over children’s work and behavior, it doesn’t inspire the students to develop the skills and independence needed to be a functioning member of society.

Cultural standards are changing with evolving technologies and social standards, such as the innovation of micro-homes (some of which are even portable).

Few parents would see living in a portable home or trailer as an aspiring living situation, but modern companies and innovators are making the idea of smaller, space and energy efficient homes a possibility.

An up-and-coming company Kasita is designing small, cost efficient studio apartments that can be moved on a big rig to one of their soon-to-come locations in Austin, Chicago and New York for as little as $600 a month.

To prevent the further encroachment of urban areas on the environment, and to cut down on the resources humans are depleting, micro-homes are a wonderful idea.

Many people of older generations see the trend of moving from the roots-based suburban lifestyle to the nomadic, independent apartment lifestyle as a fear-wrought transition.

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Our generation isn’t as concerned with getting married, having children and buying a house right away or ever. That scares our parents and our grandparents who see it as a sign that our society is becoming degenerate, but really we are just evolving the values that have remained throughout all generations.

Work hard and don’t be greedy:

Our generation can learn to work hard and educate ourselves, but not because our parents are hovering over us and forcing us to do it. We are intrinsically motivated because we have endless knowledge at our fingertips.

Have relationships and a sense of community with other humans:

Just because many interactions are done online or with our phones and we don’t want to live in a traditional idea of a community (i.e. a suburban complex where neighbors gossip at the grocery store and block parties) it doesn’t mean we don’t form close-knit communities. It just means they aren’t restricted by distance and language, thanks to e-mail, YouTube, Reddit, and countless other online extensions of communication and interaction.

Be true to who you are and don’t feel give in to peer pressure:

Sadly, out of their fear and lack of understanding for modern attitudes, older generations are the most critical of new lifestyles, which seems contradictory to their value of being true to who you are and all of its seemingly clichéd importance to adolescence.

We are living in a constantly changing world, and while that can scare older generations, it doesn’t have to. Take a brave step into our perspective and discover that some old dogs can learn new tricks.

Marjorie Kirk is the opinions editor of the Kentucky Kernel.

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