Back in the day – during the ’60s, ’70s and some of the ’80s – everyone complained about the generation gap. There were always two points of view, and those points were illuminated by comparison of the young versus the old. Movies, music, images and sound reminded the older generation that they were old, times were changing and they needed to remember what it meant to be young and behave accordingly for the sake of time.

Unfortunately, the younger generation was victorious and the older ones stood around with egg on their faces, vowing to stay young for as long as possible.

Today, older people are continuing to stay young and younger people seem to be dying at an alarming rate. What happened to the gap? What happened to those rules and regulations that nobody wanted to follow, but that older people maintained with dignity and wisdom and enforced by any means necessary? When did young people and older people begin to have the same thoughts?

As I am speeding into the second half of my life, I’m proud of the fact that younger people disagree with me. It gives them another perspective. I am aware of where they are coming from; they want to have fun, fun and more fun. The only balance for childish, nonstop fun is wisdom from old. There is nothing more daunting than a child sounding and behaving like an adult, or an adult sounding and behaving like a child. Where have our boundaries gone? It might have been good for the adults, but the destruction of the gap was not good for the children.

Karen V. Calhoun
Oak Park

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