I’m spending part of my Sunday mornings talking with a group of about 30 people who are older than 75 (mostly). When we started, my desire was to help them have tools for understanding and talking with and praying for their grandchildren and others who are between 18 and 34. It was a noble idea, but I’ve been struggling with what to say.
And then it occurred to me that several of you are in that age bracket or are close to it. And all of you are wonderful thinkers. And I need help thinking about some ideas.
1. Because the old (on average) no longer can teach the tools necessary for cultural survival, what do they have to teach? Or are they irrelevant as far as passing on culture? (Intentionally overstated. Read the explanation)
I think that in the old days (whenever that was) skills and values were passed from generation to generation. You taught your child how to farm or build furniture or can tomatoes. In the process you explained why, you talked about people and how they think. The older you were, the greater your familiarity with the tools of the tribe. As a result, up to a certain age, anyway, there was a rationale for respecting elders.
I think that information and digital technology turned that upside down. Because the basic tools of the information age are information tools, if you are not adept with learning new tools, you struggle. And the new tools are far more different from the old tool than a hand saw is different than a table saw. Saws don’t beget saws. Information begets information begets the need for tools for processing more and more.
Digital natives and analog natives live in different worlds. And in the former, youth is favored far more than in the latter.
2. If I created a project that had different ages talking, on video, about what scares them, would you watch it? (assume decent production, assume strong editing)
3. If you are 35 or under, why do you need people who are 70 or older? What do you want from them? What, honestly, do they have to teach you that you would listen to?
Thanks for your help.