Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week One

When I was going through the readings from this week, I kept on drawing parallels between my own life and what the authors were focused on. So, for this blog post, I decided to focus or relating the reading to myself and my own experiences.

In the Scientific American blog post, Maria Konnikova talks about the difference between today’s youth and youth in the past.  “When I was your age…” is a phrase that I have heard from my mum many times. Following this phrase is usually some comment about having to walk miles to school, studying with candles when the electricity went out, or learning how to cook a full course meal when she was only ten years old. Konnikova brings up the great point that maybe, just maybe, there is not this profound difference between generations.

Differences between generations do exist, but there are many similarities as well. For one, my mum always brings up the fact that she had to work hard to get what she wanted and that nothing ever comes easily. However, isn’t that the same with the youth now? Many of us in college hold jobs so that we don’t have to ask our parents for money. Yes, we do 'play,' but we also do our homework and study for our tests.

Another point from this blog post is that information passed down between generations is highly selective and usually events that we recall are ones that have been marked by a huge change. From all the things my mum has told me about, if you asked me to name one, the first I would name is her coming to America. This was the biggest change in my mum’s life; after all, she had grown up in India. Because these major events are the things we remember, our mothers look at our lives and shake their heads because they are ‘stagnant.’

The latter is one of the points Konnikova makes that I would actually like to challenge using my own experiences. Because my mom moved to America, everything here is such a new culture. I know that my mum does not think my life is stagnant or that my life is not transitioning. In fact, we have all just made a huge transition: coming to college. The clubs we join and activities we do are things that make our lives different from our parents. While I agree that adults may look upon our generations and pity the way we do things, I believe they also look upon us with awe because of the new technology and such made available to us. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your claims of the underlying similarities that are not adequately recognized amongst generations, however I feel that some light must be shed on the facets of each generation that allows them to be unique, innovative, and eventually more evolutionarily apt. For example, as society’s youth is likely to have a longer life span than its predecessors, there is more time to enjoy the perks of life than past generations. This, in turn, reflects the unnecessary need to become an adult sooner than need be since “today the younger and the older generation speak entirely different languages of the soul” ( Looking from a biological standpoint, I immediately note the benefits of such a phenomenon. More leisure time allows an increased potential for bettering one’s overall health as well as great success in reproducing offspring. Yet obviously, many other factors play into the nuts and bolts of how each generation functions. My parents are also immigrants from India, and surprisingly rarely do I find myself being compared to the major changes in their youth. Rather, my parents share their visions of the future. As profound as the future may be, I receive an overall sense of admiration and, as you mentioned, a degree of pity from elders. These complex emotions are likely due to our generation being constantly bombarded with many changes and hardships comparable to those of previous generations, but witnessed and overcome through different manners. Through the surge of media and technology, a distinct genre of obstacles has been revealed; a genre that contests what it means to be a responsible and mature adult through finding one’s self. This experience of an identity and the soul of youth today lays the foundation of new opportunities and new hardships to be achieved as well as enable innovation and progress culturally, socially, and ultimately physically.