As I sit today to think how beautiful those days were of growing up in 90’s, my mind had an overload of these thoughts. To see how things are changing, today’s kids enjoy a lot more freedom which in a way is good too but isn’t this generation a whole lot different?
Thank God, I had a childhood before technology took over. Do they know the importance of those Sunday cartoons, family brunches, street games, Britannia cakes and the list can go for forever?
Stress took care of itself, a grandma’s hug and a Band-Aid made everything ok, shopping trips or spa weren’t required to revitalize. “Settle down” was one thing we often use to hear from our last generation, be it career or marriage as soon as you hit your sweet “25”. Earlier, barely has one completed graduation, that the pressure to “settle down” would start building. We saw our growing cousins settled into jobs and marriages, and the parents felt satisfied that they had performed their worldly duties. Everyone played it safe by settling into a secure life, with a steady marriage, cushy jobs, stable friends, fixed dine-out places, daily routines and the comfort of familiarity. Taking time off to understand or “discover” oneself, meditation for stress management was not heard of. You just got along with life and it taught you whatever you needed to follow.
Praying and meditation were private affairs, Buddhist chanting was considered to be some saintly thing only, and mantra reciting weren’t talked about. Family didn’t need holidays as a bonding exercise; they ate together, prayed together. Some dared to step out of their comfort zones but those were considered as aberrations.
Today, the rule is not to follow any rule. Youngsters (including me) begin life by setting off on self-discovery voyages. The goal has shifted, now the aim is self-discovery and maximizing your potential, they have started to think about the things that they are inclined too, take time and have begun to examine these.
Parents seem to understand the urge and are willing to support and provide the cushioning. The pressure to “settle down” fast is slowly diminishing. Interestingly, our older lot is now more cohesive with us, I remember my dad asking me if the latest movie released would be liked by them or not. J So technically there has been the reversal of roles. Though their true self lie deep down within them, which I would too never want to go but yes the positive thing is they are accepting the new way of life- changes are welcomed if now executed.
Being the kid of 90’s, I still relate to being among the people who loves the concept of joint-families. Where, at a point of time, you just don’t see your parents but a bunch of siblings and relatives to spoil you with gifts, choice of food, pampering and not to forget the accompanied advices and instructions. Today the younger lot wants a lot more privacy, find their comfort zones over online chats and social circles, playing monopoly in those summer break is now a thing of the past. Forget about a separate room, a dedicated closet was a luxury. We have been with our family so much that it is fun to hear about listening to their era, “growing up” stories and struggle days of the 50’s.
As much as they want to be a part of our lifestyle, the feeling is mutual; we too want them to be a part of our daily routine. As we the children step out to find ourselves, parents simultaneously begin the journey of discovering the new ways. And while we stir up life’s cauldron, creating new patterns, learning and unlearning, we bring into focus everything we took for granted. It gives us a great advantage in understanding each other; we are in the journey of self-discovery together.
I am glad that my earlier discussions with the family that were used to be more of one-sided interactions and a downward communication (from parents to children), it’s now gravitating towards talking about spirituality, community services, taking off on treks and rejuvenation centers, learning to love ourselves or a simple coffee at the café. The older generation too is no longer just sitting back; they are very much engaged in active lifestyles of their own.
So, with the new mantra of being “stir up and discover”, nobody is anymore happy by just ‘settling down’ to anything