Opinion

Older generations offer unique perspectives

For about nine months out of the year, we’re surrounded by thousands of other 18 to 20-something-year-olds with whom we interact. But we can also find ourselves in the company of an older generation – professors, administrators and community members whose experience and wisdom are there to supplement our own.

Instead of looking outward, our age group tends to seek out advice and companionship from peers of the same age. As time goes on, we’re separating ourselves and losing touch with the older generation. And that means we’re missing out on valuable life lessons.

While other cultures place greater value on the wisdom of the older generation and encourage their involvement in civil society, we’ve been raised with the notion that it’s strange or wrong to be friends with people who aren’t around our age.

Naturally, we turn to peers for advice when we’re going through problems. But how much do our friends really know?

That’s why programs such as the Holocaust survivor pairing internship and organizations like UGenerations, exist to bridge the age gap and give us the opportunity to learn from older individuals.

Rather than feeling sorry for the older generation’s longing for yesteryear, looking down on them for being out of touch with modern technology, or even holding on to a sense of distant reverence that actually leaves us disconnected, consider instead what we have to gain.

If your grandparents immigrated to the United States, for example, they have an elaborate story to tell – about the way things were in their native country and about the lessons they’ve learned from the sacrifices they had to make.

We should be pushing to reach out to people who are older than us, and this extends beyond grandparents. Professors on campus, your high school teachers, even respected adults in the workplace, have all had experiences that we haven’t.

Ask a former professor to join you for lunch. Socialize more at the office. Talk to an older relative at your next holiday meal.

Let’s access the untapped wisdom of the older generation while we can. They understand a lot more than we think they do.

 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

February 2, 2014

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

Football season is nearly upon us. The University of Miami’s 2017 fall camp opens at 9 a.m. Tuesday ...

In an age in which committing once to a college football program isn’t always enough for fans and co ...

A six-pack of Canes notes: • It’s just different at UM – the camaraderie, the brotherhood, the desir ...

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt’s spin through the ESPN Car Wash on Tuesday began with ...

University of Miami legendary receiver Michael Irvin is no doubt relieved, as likely is UM football ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

Looking back on 15 years of the University of Miami Business Plan Competition, hosted by the School ...

Read the latest entries from UM students who are spending part or all of their summer visiting diffe ...

Value in the Era of Analytics ...

Summer Creative Writing Camp Inspires Young Writers to Release Their Emotions Onto the Page. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.