Generations have always attributed blanket personas to other generations. I am guilty of exacerbating those blanket statements in this post–but with a positive spin–so please bear with me.
Our youth are currently our most experiential population to date. They are about doing, not having. They are triers, not compilers. No longer does he with the biggest and best win. Rather, she who has done the most is considered richer.
My generation, on the other hand, grew up in a world rich with possession. For the most part, we acquire things. Houses, cars, jewelry, boats, lake homes, televisions, home libraries, and motor homes. This ownership is the whole reason we work so hard.
The turn-of-the-century generation placed great value on family and made tremendous sacrifices to provide for the future generations. My parents fell somewhere in between, holding onto the memories of time spent while being torn by the need to succeed.
None of these approaches to life are right or wrong. They got us where we are today. And rather than focusing on the differences, we are poised to celebrate these intergenerational relationships and all the attributes they bring to the table.
Two weeks ago, my extended family gathered together. Three generations spent time eating, chatting, playing games, and painting. We donned our painting aprons, brandished our paint brushes, and tackled a scary project.
Some plunged forward with little regard for the outlines sketched on the canvas. Others followed the directions to a point before veering off to give their paintings their own personalities. Still others held fast to the process, lamenting their inability to perfectly replicate the picture.
Not surprisingly, the younger generation embraced the idea of doing. They fearlessly incorporated mistakes into purposeful changes to the original. My generation strove hard to create a perfect replica. Fixing and fussing and working even during play. My mom simply basked in the moment, quietly dedicated to getting the job done as she savored the time spent with her kids and grandkids.
The result was fourteen similar but different black cats, a priceless experience, and bonding across the generations.
Each and every day, we have the ability to connect with a variety of people across generations, genders, and cultures. If we take the time to open ourselves up to the experience and eschew expectations of perfection, we can end the day richer than when we started.
At the library, our makerspace allows these kinds of interactions to happen. Groups are welcome to reserve our STEAM Room to tinker and create, making memories in the process. Simply call, email, or stop by the library and we can get you on the calendar.
get connected~ jody