Of late, Mom has started taking a keen interest in the Internet. Nothing too fancy, no facebook or digg or blogging. She just turns on the computer, connects to the Net, clicks here and there, and reads content.
Press the Power button on the CPU, wait for Windows to load, click on the Broadband icon to connect, and click on Internet Explorer/Firefox and just get cracking! Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? And here comes the strange (to me) part... The above instructions are simply too difficult for Mom to understand!
This often leads to some rather nasty altercations between her and me. Here are some excerpts:
Me: "Oh come on! How difficult is it for you to understand? Just click on the box next to 'User Name' and start typing there..."
Mom: "You raise your voice at me one more time and no lunch for you, young man!"
After several days of such heated discussions(to euphemise that is; "screaming our lungs out" would be more applicable) I decided to take a step back and think about it. What seemed so damn simple to me was obviously very difficult for Mom. And the reason was painfully obvious. It wasn't that she didn't want to learn, it's simply that she couldn't. The learning process slows down after a certain age.
However, this is not the end of the discussion. It is only the beginning. Our parents tell us so many things that simply don't make any sense to us; don't waste the food on your plate, don't wear torn jeans, don't forget to turn out the lights, and so on and so forth. We fail to understand the reason behind those statements... Because for the same reason as our parents are unable to pick up on new technologies, we cannot pick up on old wisdom.
They tell us to not waste food because their parents often had trouble arranging for two square meals a day.
They tell us to not wear torn jeans because, way back, in their childhood, our parents often had no option but to wear torn handed down trousers.
They tell us to turn out the lights because they didn't have electricity.
And naive as we are, we call our parents stubborn, miserly, inconsiderate, while they call us thoughtless, wasteful, and (as in my case) threaten to not make lunch!
Now, I won't be all goody two shoes and say that I listen to what my parents tell me all the time because I'm not and I don't. What I will say, however, is that there always is a reason for the way people behave.
And as the next generation that we belong to, we must never stop questioning, we must never stop trying to find the reasons to why things are the way they are. The Learning Curve must always be climbed. For the generations that are to follow will think the same of us as we think of the ones before us.
Like they say in French, c'est la vie. Life goes on.