At the family level between parents, children and grandchildren, generational interaction can really work. When you celebrate a birthday for a 90 year old grandmother, it’s not unheard of now, that four generations of mothers and daughters gather in one room. Conversation is nudged along with teasing about how everything in life has changed, from typewriters to internet. (Can you google to learn about your grandmother?)
What is it about our media preoccupation with the apparent collision of these same multiple generations, that makes so much out of our differing values in the workplace and the chagrin about the burden of cost being loaded on our young to finance our old?
Enough societal issues exist beyond these things. Generations need to work together to design a healthier world. Take the rise in obesity levels. In his latest book Shock of Gray, Ted Fishman quotes epidemiologist S.Jay Olshasky who says today’s teenagers (as a result of obesity and diabetes), may be the first generation in our modern era to live shorter life spans. This is another case where all generations will shoulder the health cost, as much as the cost of those who live more extended lifetimes.
At either end of the generational spread, longevity has different issues to contend with and we all should be caring for our future. Just like the family at the party teases about how life has changed, what say we look out for each other as our collective aging will tease us again.