`Generation Gap’ means the differences of opinion between those of different generations. According to a UN report, one can no longer think of a generation in traditional terms, since interests and activities are changing fast today.
The young and the old look at life from different angles. In several matters they are loggerheads with one another. The young may become impetuous and show great hurry in doing things. They cannot brook any delay. To quote Shakespeare, “Youth is hot and bold age is weak and cold”.
Generation gap creates problems in educational institutions. The teachers belong to the older generation and the students belong to the younger generation. The teachers expect implicit obedience from them. When they do not get such obedience, they get angry with them and take them to task. The utter indifference and loquacity shown by some students exasperates them. Sooner or later they begin to realize that the students of the present generation are not as docile as those of the previous generation.
In the field of politics this gap is glaring. The politicians of the present generation do not agree with their elders in many matters. They want every problem solved expeditiously.
The people of the older generation are god-fearing and they attach great importance to moral and spiritual values, but the younger generation does not show any great interest in them.
The youth wants to enjoy life to the full. They do not like to lead a life of Simplicity and austerity, but this is not the case with the older generation. More often than not, the youth want to follow the Epicurean philosophy. They are interested in this mundane life.
The people of the older generation arc orthodox and superstitious. They are ready to spend any amount of money on the religious beliefs that are dear to them. The youth do not approve of this.
In the past one could not marry a girl or a boy belonging to another caste or religion. If a boy or a girl did so, he or she was declared an outcast by society. But today, such marriages have become common. The barriers of caste or religion do not worry the youth. Some young men and women do not have any hesitation in eloping with the person they love. They also prefer civil marriages to the marriages solemnized at churches and temples.
The generation gap between the Victorians and the English people of the present day is really wide. During the Victorian period public opinion on sexual immorality was very severe. Exposure of the body in particular was considered immoral. Victorian ladies wore dresses reaching down to their ankles. “It was thought indecorous for a man to smoke in public and (much later in the century) for a lady to ride a bicycle”. Now all this has changed. Young men and women marry the persons they like. Very often the consent of the parents is not sought. Dating has become common. Children are also born out of wedlock. Young men and women co-habit. Family life has broken down.
The people of the previous generation do not realize the necessity of limiting the size of the family. They had as many children as they could. But the younger generation considers family planning as an imperative necessity and adopts various means to check nasality. The youth know that population explosion is a threat to any country.
The elders have now begun to realize the feelings of the younger generation and are now willing to accept the views of the youth. They now think that they should Also move with the times.