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The .com and the PO Box generations

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Growing up our elders might have had a worse of life than us in terms of availability of resources to use within the family. They used to sleep in a ‘common room’ as in the boys and girls sleeping together in a room not necessarily a bedroom but it could be in the kitchen or the lounge. Today families have a boy’s room and a girl’s room with some being privileged enough to have a bedroom for each child in the family. Our elders ate well and still do, all the wild fruits and vegetables that most of us in the younger generation have never tasted. And thus they have lived longer, and some are still counting their years.

Are we necessarily better off than our elders? Us youngsters love the fast life, the fast foods and we tend to cut our lives short and die before we can even watch our own children grow or even hold at least one grandchild. In my, I feel we are a whole lot more miserable despite having all this and that. We face each day with uncertainty, we just keep our fingers crossed for a better tomorrow. Our elders smile more often than we do. We walk in the streets with lots of burden on our shoulders from failed relationships to unemployment to lack of resources to trying to make a decent living on our own. Our elders seem to be cheerful and take each day as it comes despite some of them being the only surviving guardians of their grandchildren.

I was taken through this comparison journey at a Food For Thought Session at the US Embassy Public Affairs Section on Tuesday in commemoration of women’s month. The presentation was held under the theme, ‘When I was young’ / ‘Wisdom from grannies diaries’ and was facilitated by DefZee. The panel consisted of two elderly women. Looking at the elderly women who were on the panel I could see the generation gap but at the same time I felt like we are the ones losing out. One of the elderly woman actually said we called them ‘PO Box’ while we call ourselves ‘.com’- to illustrate that they are old and we are the new thing. But sadly while we are the new things with .com technology we tend to miss out on a lot of important things in life.

Our elders proposed and dated in a different manner than we do today. They wrote letters and each time they had to see their loved ones they had to have a third person present at their meeting. They never went out on dates. Instead they went to a ‘tete’ to approve of the relationship and to counsel them. Their advice to the young ones was that it would be of benefit to us if we stick to some of the morals and values they had in their relationships. For example no sex before marriage and being faithful to our partners. In conclusion, they encouraged the youth to pray to God because He gives hope and strength in the midst of all adversity.

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