There is something extraordinary about being able to contribute to the greater good. No one has made it through life without someone else's help. You never know how much someone will touch your life or you will touch theirs, and in this small act, the voice of our seniors is put into action. These actions shape and mould the present into a future of which we can all be proud.
In June, South Africa celebrates Youth Day on 16 June, commemorating the young people who stood up to demand a better life and a better future for our next generation.
I thought it would be fitting to devote this month's article to bridging the gap between generations by looking at some advice our senior residents offered to younger adults. Our youth tend to forget that our seniors were once their age and have gone through similar challenges and can serve as a valuable source of guidance and insight, as they can help put things in perspective.
Sometimes it may feel like a deep chasm exists between generations, particularly with cultural attitudes and changing technology; however, bridging that gap is easier than it seems.
In this article, I want to focus on the importance of wisdom passed down from one generation to the next, share some words of wisdom from our residents, and celebrate the achievements of our younger generations in an ever-aging world.
First of all, I would like to congratulate our youth for their role in promoting social awareness, social justice, conflict prevention, and sustainable peace. The way that our younger generation has taken advantage of social media to raise awareness on these issues, happening both locally and around the world, has been nothing short of a game-changer. It's a new kind of interventionism, which is a very effective way of drawing attention.
On the one hand, this also reminds us of the challenges millennials pose to their grandparents. Many of them are part of the first generation digital natives, raised in a digital, media-saturated world and a mobile device. Millennials play a significant role in introducing the elderly to new technologies, and this interest often arises from the need of grandparents wanting to stay in touch with their grandchildren.
On this path towards a more peaceful, happier way of living, our younger generation takes in an enormous amount of information while building up a knowledge base. And it is precisely when life feels so overwhelming that the younger generation may find solace in the wisdom of the elderly. Wisdom comes with age and brings a clearer perception of life, as it provides a bigger picture of how things intertwine. The elderly can offer a distinct perspective, as this is something that time has taught them. They have learned to focus on what matters, and they realized that time flies by, and what's important in life becomes clear. So, when an elder gives advice, it is often wise to listen.