This information comes from Angeles Arrien on the importance of Intergenerational Bridging Work. Angeles writes:
"For the first time in history we have some very important research that cannot be ignored surrounding the necessity and sustainability of building bridges between the generations–especially the elemental and essential human need to transmit values and perennial wisdoms from generation to generation.
1. A global population survey in 2009 revealed that 44% of the world's population is currently 25 years old and younger. How can we begin to build an intergenerational bridge to this population?
2. A global survey on suicide in 2004 revealed that the United States held the highest suicide rate between its youth and elders in the world (graphically indicating that we are not calling upon the creativity and gifts of our youth, or the wisdom and experience of our elders). Both generations suffer–the youth are under-utilized and the elders are under-valued.
3. In 2009, a Pew Research report revealed that for the first time, two opposing generations shared strong similar values. These generations are known today as the Milleniums (ages 18-34), and the Boomers (ages 56-75). The values shared between these two generations are: a desire for environmental sustainability; to reduce poverty and economic inequity; global networking and helping those in need; fostering civil rights; low tolerance for corruption; and high networking and collaboration in order to make a greater impact of good on the whole. The Milleniums are high tech, they know how to network on line; the Boomers have face-to-face skills and content for the networks that Milleniums have set up and provided. Both have much to exchange between each other."
Angeles Arrien also provides a definition of Generation from the work of Simona Beretta, an Italian philosopher:
"Generation comes from genos,origin–as gender (male-female); as geneology (the individual I, and his or her personal history)...Generation is a dynamic concept defined as taking care of relations over time. Generation is about relations; it is not an individualistic endeavor. Generation is a powerful metaphor to capture the essence of development and progress, as between the generations..."
There is much reconciliation work required between the generations...and much to be gained by such work.
Our society is increasingly fragmented. Bridging work can help mend the gaps between us so that the whole of society benefits from the significant gifts each generation brings to the world.
© Patrick O’Neill 2011. All rights reserved.