As any UK residents will be aware, the snow and ice that has blanketed the country for the last couple of weeks has brought with it a host of practical problems that we are not too clever at dealing with! Whether walking, driving or commuting by any other transport, the delays and difficulties are endless until the thaw begins. For more elderly citizens there are the more somber issues of just being able to keep warm eat enough food. The only thing we are really any good at in this weather is playing, and the joy of that has worn off pretty quickly!
For me, this weather has also triggered fervent family battles that demonstrate the different priorities of generations. My (soon to be) teenage daughter has implied that her father and I are positively geriatric because we would rather she be warm and safe when out of the house (ie attired in thick coat, hat, scarf, gloves and, heaven forbid, wellies). Her clear priority, meanwhile, is to maintain a cool image and to be as unburdened as possible around the school she attends (no lockers!). I can understand this, to a point, no one wants additional baggage (literally) — but sometimes it is necessary, along with the inconvenience.
What has struck me most about my daughter’s position is how convinced she is that she is right and that we are wrong. There is little room, if any, for negotiation in her thought-process. Everything that she knows within her world is enough to make her absolutely certain. I can remember being that sure of myself too. However, age and experience now convinces me that I can always learn more because there is always something new — or there is a new way of looking at an existing concept. Furthermore, I think we can learn the most by listening to other people — from our own and from other generations. This is true in family hierarchies, but it is also true in any business situation. Experience is a valuable and important asset, but youth — with its vibrance, creativity and new ideas is vital too. Bringing the two together successfully is the hard part.