There could be many meanings for a day like today but the fundamental idea behind it may catch you a little off guard. It’s the older people of the world reaching out for the younger people of the world to share a moment, show each other that they matter and try to come to an understanding of why both feel the way they do.
I recently have been going through these kinds of conversations with an 18 year old, with myself being quite a bit older (No I’m not saying how old). There have been some key issues we agree on, but equally as many, if not more, we disagree on.
I see him as a young man with his life in front of him, believing in some things I once believed in but do not anymore. I think it is true, not for everyone but for many, that the older you get the more conservative you become. You sure do hear yourself saying, “back in my day” a lot. Of course, the young man insists, “if the older generations would just see the value of the younger generations thoughts…” It’s basically a wash on the surface but it has left me thinking some.
And then it dawned on me, while it seems like we are miles apart on our attitudes on things, we really aren’t. He is looking at the glass full, as he should. His whole life is in front of him and he deserves the right to see the world as someone coming into it. I look at the same glass and see it half empty, because my world is coming to a close and my experiences lead to have less faith in people. But when we join our thoughts together he tends to look at the world a little more conservative, seeing the red flags a little clearer and learning to avoid the pitfalls before you have already dug yourself a hole you can’t get out of. And for me, I walk away looking a things a little more positive. Just because my generation could not make certain fundamentals work does not mean his generation cannot.
And isn’t that what life is all about? You may think you have all the answers… but no one really does. The answer lies somewhere in the middle, where the older can still learn from the young, and the young will want to learn from the old.
How to celebrate: First, just celebrate by being alive and living in a country where you are still free to act upon what you think. Spend a day with someone your opposite age. Don’t argue with them, but share thoughts about why you believe the way you do, you’ll both be better off for it. Read a book and see how history really does repeat itself and take strides to use that information to better your own world. We all are just people with the same basic needs and wants. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.