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
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Friday: ▪ UM coach Mark Richt hasn’t yet given any indication to the ...

There are few players across Florida whose recruitment has been harder to parse than Derick Hunter’s ...

While University of Miami fans are not exactly thrilled about their Hurricanes going against the Wis ...

There was a time John Dixon looked like he would have his choice of just about any college he wanted ...

Part 2 of a 3-part series Former Marlins president David Samson, now unshackled by any contractual r ...

Following national recognition for its French production of Cinderella, the Frost Opera Theater is d ...

Several UM art students are getting real-world exposure during a highly anticipated – and attended – ...

Over the past several years, more and more students are using UM Libraries as a study place, a meeti ...

A record number of gifts have been collected across UM campuses to benefit children and seniors in t ...

Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak, who previously served as minister of the interior and mi ...

After a six-day layoff, the No. 25/23 Miami women's basketball team will be back in action Sund ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Friday the signing of two players ...

University of Miami redshirt senior defensive tackle Gerald Willis III was recognized for his outsta ...

The University of Miami's redshirt senior setter Haley Templeton was named to the 2018 AVCA All ...

Get to Know U is a series that introduces the newest members of the Miami Hurricanes track and field ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.