Let Generations Celebrate Life Together | Sunday Observer

Let Generations Celebrate Life Together

As we come to the end of a very eventful and interesting year full of challenges and struggles, we need to understand that the New Year we are about to step in to will lead us into our new future.

Today, in Sri Lanka, five generations are living and working together: they are the Traditionalists born before 1946, the Baby Boomers—born between 1946 and 1964, the Generation X—born between 1965 and 1976; the Generation Y, or Millennials—born between 1977 and 1997; the Generation Z—born after 1997

Connecting the Generations

Many of the dramas and soap-operas we are witnessing today, in offices to homes can be attributed to this fact - how generations interpret and respond to key cultural and social issues differently. However, the need of the hour is to foster a deep trust and a sense of shared purpose among generations.

Culture repeats itself

Culture tends to repeat itself in history. In Sri Lanka, after independence, we have unfortunately had revolutions and bloodbaths almost every decade because we failed to listen to our youth. Do we want history to repeat itself or are we going to rise up to the situation and do things differently this time around?

Transition happens first with the group that is ready. We have among our midst Generation X who are in their fifties and basically team work oriented. Then, there are the Millennials who were born during the civil war period, who are very alert to what is going on around them. We can see them campaigning for change everywhere. These are powerful change agents and will not stop of anything short of gaining their rightful change.

Ready to face chaos

They know that they are not a perfect generation. They admit that they have many inadequacies. But, they also know that they are born for this hour. The everyday chaos that we see on TV, radio and read about in papers does not trouble them. It is within their DNA to deal with chaos and change.

Yet, they do not have the experience and wisdom that the previous generations – the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers and Generation X - possess.

In spite of this, they are our future leaders and they are not afraid of confronting tradition for traditions’ sake. Their ways are different. So, we need to watch out for them, as they are always looking for new models of governance and smarter ways to run their homes and country. No wonder they have a natural attraction for anything smart – starting from smart phones, smart vehicles, smart homes, smart offices.

We should not be surprised, they might turn this nation right side up. They are born for this hour and they have within themselves what it takes to make that change. We should not underestimate them, like some of our predecessors did in the past.

Rightful place

We should give them their rightful place and scope to come up with innovative and unique solutions at policy, operational and legislative levels. They have within them the required business acumen, entrepreneurial skills and know-how that can usher in new sectoral growth of revenues for our country.

These youth can make Sri Lanka to become a model and marvel of Asia. For example, in the area of tourism they are already transforming Sri Lanka into a year long preferred tourist destination with little support from recognized apex bodies. They are using their entrepreneur, social marketing and networking skills to promote unique Sri Lankan locations and districts through their own initiatives. They have been very successful in attracting tourists from all over the globe to patronise their businesses.

We need to build a legacy for our Millennial and Generation Z. We need to show them how to build a nation. For this to happen, we need to have the young, the mature, the seasoned, the old and the elderly working together on our national boards, legislator and everywhere. If we can do that then they will take it from there and make Sri Lanka a true wonder of Southern Asia, a country that all of us can be proud of.