Ever since the “Me, Me, Me Generation” cover of TIME, conversation about the clash among generations has become even sharper. I believe the discord is really due to a lack of trying to understand one another. Collectively our entrenched behaviors have formed a gap we now struggle to close.
So many times we desire to connect to someone who is different from us (may it be age, lifestyle, race or economic class), but fear and insecurities keep us from stretching outside of our comfort zone to build a bridge. We make up excuses and stay frozen on our side of the chasm.
My relationship with Mary Lou crossed the generation gap long ago, and I’ve been able to step into a new realm of opportunities. As our lives became more woven together, we’ve taken on new adventures, building bridges in the most unusual ways.
This morning we both crossed “early morning yoga in Washington Square Park” off our bucket lists. Maybe that doesn’t seem like an “adventure”, but we could have come up with a slew of undone to-dos to keep us from Namaste-ing while getting misted by the park’s fountain.
Maybe the lesson to learn is that it’s easier to connect by starting with small and personal steps, rather than imagining we are so far apart. No one ever said adventures have an age minimum or expiration date.
Mary Lou’s take:
I sit in the lucky chair across from Chelsea, where every day I get a front row seat to Gen Y in action. While articles like the “Me, Me, Me Generation” fire up my peers to dig in their heels to sneer, “See, they aren’t like we were!,” I can’t let them get away with it. I watch Chelsea’s way of living life with open eyes and arms and embracing the unknown with a relish that I admit I have sometimes tucked away– out of my ‘been there/done that’ attitude or just the excuse of no time or another iced coffee.
So while I brag about Chelsea’s joyous and brave approach to life, I find that I am in the stands, cheering her on as she goes to the deep end of the pool. Sure, I do my own high dive’s, but more often than not, maybe I am guilty of what my Mom called “Big talk, little do.” When Chelsea sent me the link to the free yoga class, I waffled. Maybe I will look goofy. Maybe I should just sleep in. But her “why not” approach– which is what makes Millenials so appealing and perhaps un-nerving to others, convinced me. And this morning, wordless but totally connected, we down-dogged side by side, two women, just stretching under the sun. What gap? How easy was that?
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