The new generation, no doubt, is very smart in terms of many things, and generally doing well for itself in many aspects. However, it does lack behind in some things that the older generation was better at. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges, but still two girls, Laiqa and Mahnoor, have a discussion where the former is in favour of the older generation while the latter thinks her own generation is better.
Let us look at the discussion the girls have.
Laiqa: Life was much easier when blackberries and apples were just fruits, believes the older generation.
Mahnoor: Those who criticise the new generation usually forget who raised it.
Laiqa: When we look at our grandparents’ generation, we see a group of people who are very determined and individualistic. These are the people who survived the Great Depression, the banking cash and who went to war for the freedom to get their own independent country. They made sacrifices for their nation and lived through some horrific economic situations.
Mahnoor: The new generation respect all that was done for our country. We value the sacrifices and that’s the reason we celebrate this occasion. Old people often blame us for not doing anything for the country. They taunt us by continuously recalling the sacrifices and the wars of the past. So dear old people, for this country we cannot begin a war now and give sacrifices, but now we are planning and working for its prosperity. The new generation is dealing with a different world dynamics and different countries for improving our economic position.
Laiqa: The older generation has experienced and learnt from the past. Well, the new generation learns a lot of things from television and social media. This creates most of the problems. And this is leading to our youth losing their cultural identity by taking on too many foreign influences.
Mahnoor: Nowadays, we are learning many things from the media, I agree, but we implement positive things as well. We can now gain knowledge very quickly and we don’t need to spend hours searching in encyclopaedias, going to libraries and reading books.
Laiqa: Relationships today are also becoming affected by media and, instead of coming closer to each other, people are becoming distant.
Mahnoor: I think this is not the case. Modern means of communication have made it easy for a person to call or text another person on the other side of the world and connect instantly. Besides this, if there is an emergency, anyone can be connected anytime. I say it’s a blessing!
Laiqa: Wait, it is this ease with technology that makes the new generation consider the older generation as backward, old-fashioned and uncultured in terms of modern etiquettes. But the etiquettes they follow is not their own, but that of others whose values are very different from ours.
Mahnoor: The old generation takes us wrong. They think that they are always right. I respect them but the youth today, according to current demands and trends, set their own goals for the future and follow a different path to attain those goals. The old generation should have trust in us. Even if we make mistakes, and which generation has not made mistakes, we will learn from it and do better.
There are many outstanding young people in Pakistan who have done us proud. Arfa Karim and Malala Yousufzai are two examples.
We can change the world but we need the support of our elders and their trust too.
Mahnoor: Well, I think, the older generation will not have problems trusting the younger ones today if they see them following the right path. The youth needs to decide if they are going to emerge as a generation the future can be proud of or are they going to let the bad influences today overpower their potentials.
Published in Dawn, Young World, September 7th, 2019