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MARTIN: What can older generations learn from our generation?

By De'Vante Martin
On October 13, 2020

While growing up, I was taught by family, teachers and mentors to respect and learn from my elders. From the time I could start remembering things, I always tried to learn from grown ups and build on my own knowledge. 

Recently I spotted a tweet on Twitter that said, “Can we all normalize defending ourselves from our parents without the thought of being disrespectful?”

In my head, my first thought to answer that question was “Yes, of course.” 

The more I thought about it I realized that there is a reason why many adults see expressing your thought as disrespectful.

The reason is that they do not believe they can learn anything from a child, only they can teach. This brings in the question, what can the older generations learn from our generation? 

In my opinion, the older generations can learn about three things. 

They can learn about the new technology advances, the importance of mental health and how to avoid prejudices. 

The 21st century has brought in many things such as the strong advances in technology. The kids and young adults of my generation have mastered the use of all the new phones, laptops, and games. 

Many adults need to learn to use some technology, maybe at home or at the job, as many jobs have use technology in different ways. 

They also can benefit from learning about technology use from our generation as far as social media goes. Social media contains a lot of things that many older generations like such as news articles, marketplaces and social event news. 

The second thing the older generations can learn from my generation is the importance of mental health.
Many of the past generations grew up keeping things to themselves. 

Their parents were not the biggest of making sure the mental health of the child was first. They were mostly concerned with whether you had clothes on your back, a roof over your head and some food on your plate first. It is not as bad as it seems, but my generation is different. 

We stress the importance of having a good mental outlook. Many people support the awareness brought to the situation now more than ever and it’s people of age range such as the teens and 20s. 

For example, we bring awareness to mental illness by having “Mental Illness Awareness Week” this year during the week of Oct. 4 to Oct. 10.

The third thing older generations can learn is to avoid prejudices. 

Many of the older generations have gone through things such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Watergate Scandal and 9/11. It is difficult for some to have a clear and honest thought about someone. Race and nationality in America have had an effect on the way people think of you before they even meet you. The younger generations that have no experience with these bad times have a clearer thought. 

You see more bi-racial marriages now more than ever. 

There were times where this was not even able to occur in this country. My generation can teach the older generation by action more than word, with prejudices.

– De’Vante Martin is a sophomore Mass Communication major from St. Joseph, La. 

 

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