Relationships and Connection: Bridging the Generation Gap

Sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated with the world today. Obviously there are all kinds of challenging events, heartbreaking news stories seemingly at every corner, and, in Michigan, we hear a lot about how students are disengaged and are learning in crumbling school buildings. It can be really hard to feel like there’s any good in the world sometimes.

I think it’s a natural response to compare kids of the present generation to the way things were when we were kids. And our parents and grandparents did the same thing. Often, it can feel like the generation gap is so huge. Kids feel like adults don’t understand them, and adults don’t get why kids can’t “put down their phones” or only want to text their friends. But sometimes a story comes along that reminds us of our basic need as human beings. That- at the end of the day – we all just crave feeling appreciated and connected in some way.

This video is the trailer for a project inspired by some lovely high school students in Canada who had seen the way their grandparents’ lives had been enriched by using the Internet. So, they set out to engage with other seniors in their community to help them learn about the Internet. You can read more about the project here. 

We all love stories like this. But, beyond making us feel good, it reminds me that there is so much more that connects us than divides us. Love, family, relationships – those are at the heart of who we are and what we do. Showing our students we love and care about them means much more than showing them how much we know about our curriculum. I wish so much my grandparents were alive for me to connect with. I wish we had had those opportunities to share and connect in a different way. My grandma and I used to write each other letters when I was in college and when I lived in Hawaii and couldn’t talk all that often. I saved those letters, and while I treasure so much those words – in her own writing – what would I give to hear her voice again or watch her on a YouTube video. My brother left me a voicemail that I recklessly deleted; how could I possibly have known it would be the last opportunity I’d ever have to hear his voice? 

It never hurts to be more patient and kind to one another. This story is a reminder of that.

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