I must have been around 12, one day I was narrating a story to my sister and she listened to me patiently. After I was done with my version, she corrected me with the actual story and then calmly said, “That’s why they say, ‘Little knowledge is dangerous.’” It was an embarrassing moment for me.
The reason I’m remembered this story is because I think this quote is so relevant to the generation I belong to. I would include everybody between the ages of 27 to 55 in this group. Aren’t we a confused bunch? Look what is happening all over the world. Look what we are doing. We are the ‘in-betweens’. Neither do we understand and respect the values of past generations, nor do we understand and fit in the New Age, the future. We want to be the perfect synthesis of both worlds but we are far from any. We know only bits and pieces of everything and what a mess we have made. What a mess we are!
We have all read about the vanity of the Victorian Age and we have scoffed at it but I somehow think vanity is at its peak in us. We are living with such ‘little knowledge’ and yet we pretend that we are in control. We want to try out everything that may make us ‘accept’ ourselves and the discomfort is weighing our souls so deep, it is depressing. Forget about other things, we don’t even like the music we listen to and yet we feel like we need to know these new artists and their songs.
We are the Age of irrelevant STATUS and ugly beautification. We shout against hierarchy in society, against caste system, and yet we are trying to climb the ladder ourselves. The disparity between the rich and the poor, the ‘cool’ and the ‘uncool’, the ‘outdated’ and the ‘progressive’ is so wide that even blood brothers cannot find any connection. Our relationships are just ‘hanging by the thread’. We search for a friend who will understand everything about us, agree with us completely, never compete with us and never overshadow us. This sounds more like a woman’s thing but it is the same for men too.
In this Age of Pretense and Vanity, life is hardest for those who are genuine. They are lonely and they are the outcasts. They are trying to show us that we need to slow down and be natural but we are NOT the ‘LISTENING’ Age, or at least we don’t listen to anything that’s ‘Rational’. We read books about spirituality and attend lectures meant for bettering ourselves but only so that we may teach others. We are dedicated about improving other people not knowing that those people are also equally dedicated to improving us.
We are a ‘followers’ Age without a leader. There is no scope for a real revolution in this era because we are already under too much ‘stress’. We visit psychiatrists because we suffer from anxiety caused by the world but we cannot do anything to change the world. It is up to the leaders, they just sit on their chairs and do nothing. We are also the ‘Grouchy’ generation. What is there that we don’t complain about? But no, it’s always someone else’s job to fix it.
I remember our mother used to tell us, “I may not have attended college, but I still know more than you.” For the first time in history, parents cannot teach their children. We cannot teach our children because we agree that they know more than us. We feel threatened by them and the only thing we can do to keep them quiet is by bribing them. What will we answer if they ask us to sing a lullaby, to teach them to play table tennis, or to tell them a story from our childhood? We are afraid and ashamed. Easiest way out is to give them a phone or tablet and hypnotize them with videos and games. And we brag about what ‘good’ children we have.
In order that we don’t look like idiots and nerds to our kids, we try to keep up with the latest things that’s ‘in’ but no matter how hard we try, they are always ahead of us. We pretend to worry about the future of the next generation but we know that these kids are smarter than us. They know themselves, they know what they want to become. Where do you think all that confidence is coming from? They will never bring up their children like their parents brought them up. They will tell their children that we, their parents, spoiled them, that we didn’t know anything and they will never repeat those mistakes. They will say ‘No’ when it’s a ‘No’ and reward their children when they truly deserve it.
The next generation is nothing like us and that’s why they will be fine. We are the generation in trouble.