The Daily Growth Blog #33/365| Refresh Week: Letting elders be

There is this common thread, connecting a lot of us youngsters who live or interact with our parents, grandparents, much older siblings or other members of our family who are at least 15–20 years older than us. Basically, constantly engaging with people with whom the generation gap is large enough to warrant a very different thought process, pace of living life and general outlook towards how we approach life.

I’ve noticed that different youngsters connect with the older generation(s) in different ways but I’ve seem to noticed a lot of folks in the younger generation trying to question, influence and change the behaviour of the older generation. I, myself, have done this for over two decades of my life now.

3 generations in one photo.

(More) Context

For a long time, especially in the last couple of years, I’ve been really vocal about everything I thought was wrong with how the elders (particularly my dad, grandad and mom) did some things. No doubt, I was always proud of my parents, my grandfather and other elders in my family, but I’d always find them lacking in some way or the other.

‘Why do you watch so much News on TV, Appa, tracking the numbers won’t help change anything in our lockdown lives’

‘Why don’t you read a book, Appacha’

‘Why don’t you do a certification or course or take up the CFA, Amma’

Apart from these ‘recommendations’ on how to progress in life, I’d always be critical in assessing some of their other actions too. I remember when Appacha decided to host a big gathering for his 90th birthday in Kerala and then, the following year, in Bangalore, I was very very irritated. I didn’t understand how someone could be so self absorbed and host his own birthday party. That too, twice!

I never stopped to think that perhaps he wanted all of us together at least once a year. And, for all of us, there wouldn’t be any other more important event in the year (not even Christmas) where we’d take out time from our oh-so-important-private lives to come be with each other, meet everyone and spend some time with ‘family’. Probably it was his own way of getting everyone together, as the head of the family, keeping the tradition of oneness alive.

I didn’t get it and always thought it was a waste of time, energy and money.

I was so dumb.

Servicing & Repair

Anyway, in the last few weeks I started to settle down in my own environment, and became more & more understanding of the people around me. And after a long time of quiet reflection, many radical (and non-radical) experiences, I’ve come to a general realisation of how I’d like to be with the older generation now.

And it feels nice. :)

While there will always be some bit of annoyance every now & then, I’m quite done with my ‘expectation’ of how elders need to be. They’ve done well till now, stayed out of trouble (mostly), tried to do their best with whatever opportunities they had, created a life, a home and a safe environment for the next generation, to grow and fly. What more could I ask for?

This Vineet, from 2011, was great because he only focused on ordering pizzas for Appacha, nothing else. :)

So my focus is now on becoming more and more loving & understanding of elders in my family, and around me. It is their time to relax. And it is time for us, the younger generation to stop being a pain and just be there for them. My aim now? Stop ‘expecting’ anymore and being a better ‘Vineet’ for them and to them.

This means, letting go of all those thoughts in my head of how they ‘should’ be. Also, if it doesn’t directly concern me, I needn’t even think about how they manage their affairs. They’ve managed to live life in a much crazier world, a much less convenient world and a much more deranged world. They’ll be okay.

Obviously, if they ask for any kind of help, it’s a duty that should precede every other activity in our lives.

Being a happy, content and supportive young generation is all that we should genuinely strive for. Be the change rather than preach the change.

Test Drive

Today is going to be a fun evening in Bangalore because I’m getting my cutie-pie a couple of gifts.

(Sorry for being so Gen Z and personifying my motorbike).

There were some parts that I’d been meaning to get for the ‘Dom’ for quite some time. The ‘Refresh Week’ seemed like the right occasion to get to it. The bike shop asked me to come down at around 4.30pm.

Time for some quick upgrades and a RIDE!

I’ll also probably ride a bit in the city after that, since I haven’t done that in quite some time. Bangalore is nice, breezy, cool and loving. Might get a bit drenched in the drizzle that seems to come out of nowhere (as always) but should be good, nonetheless.

This is also Test Ride #1 before my long(er) ride to Kerala next week. I normally do two short test rides before a REAL ride to check if there is anything amiss. I’ll do the next one on Thursday, I think. Early morning, when everyone’s asleep. That’s the best time to be out on the streets of Bangalore. :)

Idling & Warmth

Today, I am grateful to my elders. All of them — Family, friends, acquaintances. Every single elder who’s walked this planet, and made way for the newer generations. Truly grateful for the wisdom, the learnings and all the work they’ve put in.

Particularly grateful to the elders of my own family, from my mom(s), grandfathers, grandmothers, dad(s) to all the other aunts, uncles and cousins. It’s a privilege to be part of this family that’s stood together for so long, through thick and thin.

Hope I’m able to add a little bit of happiness and glory to this lineage and make future generations a bit prouder of the family they’re part of.

Cheers!

Hope I’ve got the right photo of my mom’s family. :D

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Vineet V. George

A sales and consulting professional who enjoys writing about things that are close to his heart.