My youngest son got married this weekend. It was a perfect wedding and everyone was very happy. They have been sweethearts since High School, and now they are happily married young newlyweds. Everyone who attended, both family and friends (and young and old) had a wonderful time. It was a beautiful blend of happy, smiling faces. I started thinking about what the old and young had in common, and what were the differences between both. What is good and bad about being old, or young?
I have found that both groups want to be respected. Older people want to be respected for what they know, and for what they have gone through. Younger people don’t want to be dismissed purely because of their age. That seems to happen quite a bit. Knowledge does not necessarily correspond with the amount of years a person has been alive.
Younger people tend to be brave. They are brave in the sense of trying new things, moving far away from home, and supporting causes that seem to be not as mainstream as their parents might agree with. Many older people stayed close to where their own parents lived, not straying far. Younger people are accepting – it is very common for “millenials” to have friends who are gay, bisexual or transgender. To them, it is no big deal. Older people have come a long way in the acceptance department. Like the old commercial says, we have come a long way, baby.
I have always had my kids’ friends refer to me by my first name. Maybe I didn’t want to feel “old.” Truthfully though, my former last name was hard to say and Lisa was easier to pronounce. Besides, I wanted to have a fun and informal relationship with them. Yet, in contrast – growing up my friends and I never addressed each other’s parents as anything other than Mr. or Mrs. The same went for my kids’ teachers. I imagine it is a respect thing – no matter if the teachers were my age, or a younger person starting out with their first teaching position – I referred to them as Miss, Mrs. or Mr. Even after being told it was alright to use their first names, I just couldn’t. As they say, it went against my grain.
It is wonderful to hear, read or see these two words – senior discount. It is like a reward you get for all of your years of spending. College students get discounts as well, yet I believe it somehow should carry forward. The debt from four (or possibly more) years of college can be very heavy. It would be nice if some establishments extended some specials to those who are young and struggling. Just a thought.
I have seen the struggles of dating for both old and young. When it comes down to it, people want to be loved and accepted. Young people may feel insecure due to the fact that some of their life experiences are limited, and older people have insecurities with some feeling outdated and maybe looked down on due to feeling out of touch. These differences can be felt even more distinctly if you are dating outside of your age range. With regards to dating, it can be helpful to remember that age is just a number.
Regardless of age, both older and younger people care about their appearance. I fully realized this on the weekend. There were quite a few women at the Hair Salon on my son’s wedding day. We were all there to get glamorous. Regardless of age, we all wanted to look our best on such a special day. Looking at these women, I thought to myself they were so young and perfect that they barely needed any makeup at all. Yet regardless of our ages, we wanted to look good. It may have taken the makeup artists a little longer to fix up us older women, but when all was said and done – everyone looked great, and we were all happy with our hair and makeup results.
Younger people do not want to be labeled. They don’t want to be referred to as entitled, not dependable, lazy or self-absorbed. Older individuals do not like being told they aren’t tech savvy enough, that they are unable to keep up with demands and that they are resistant to change. Young people worry about getting their foot in the door of a chosen profession, and get frustrated about not getting hired because they have no experience. They have to start somewhere! Older workers also worry about getting replaced with younger workers making less money for doing the same job.
The wedding this past weekend had the best of both age groups. It had the young bride and groom, happily partying with their friends. The older people were there, partying too along with watching their children have fun. It was a perfect blend of everyone together, as one big happy family. Nothing is more important than that…