YOUTH: THE GENERATION GAP- A lame excuse for degeneration
As adults we have our set of norms and ways of doing things. As teenagers they have their very own set of norms and ways of doing things too. Compare the two sets and the difference that is yielded is the difference between cheese and chalk. Therefore adults and teenagers are at constant logger heads with each other. The former sees the youth as simply insane whilst the latter attribute the behavior of adults to simply THE GENERATION GAP. You have to be a teenager to understand this gap they say, otherwise no matter how sensible and level headed an adult you are, still you would never understand.
The generational gap is and was a term popularized in Western countries during the 1960s referring to differences between people of a younger generation and their elders, especially between children and parents.
Although some generational differences have existed throughout history, modern generational gaps have often been attributed to rapid cultural change in the postmodern period, particularly with respect to such matters as musical tastes, fashion, culture and politics. These changes are assumed to have been magnified by the unprecedented size of the young generation during the 1960s, which gave it the power and inclination to rebel against societal norms.
It is this generation gap that throws these two groups of people at opposite ends. And as we move through the passages of time this gap widens. And as the widening increases our societies are churning out rebels and juvenile delinquents. The parent and child relationship is on the brink of extinction if not already just a namesake. Children have no respect or time for their parents. The laws of their parents are viewed with much disdain and reprehension. Curfews are things of the past or are for your five year old brother and the list goes on. Gone are the days when our prisons were filled with only adult criminals. Today our prisons have separate section for juveniles. This alone bears ample testimony to the caliber of our youth. And this moral degeneration rapidly progresses, in the name of the generation gap.
In South Africa those who had the foresight began to see the rising ill-effects of this generation gap. To curb this spiraling moral degeneration, they immediately set about to try and stop its progression. We felt at that time that a balanced education, of both secular and religious, would aid in combating this scourge and bring about a change for the better in our youth. Hence, the many Islamic schools in our country. Then we discovered that our youth could not utilize their leisure time profitably and meaningfully and therefore, were falling prey to drugs and substance abuse. We quickly began organizing extra-curricular activities in the form of sporting matches, youth camps etc. And as we continue to battle with our youth, some have already thrown in the towel whilst some of us still have the courage to continue with this struggle.
What we need to understand and accept is that today this generation gap concept has become a lame excuse for irresponsibility and disrespect from our youth. In reality, this generation gap means nothing but the number of years that separate elders from youngsters which is inevitable. From the very first man on earth right up to the last human being that will inhabit the earth, there has to be this gap. So how does the generation gap that existed in the times of our grandparents and the one today differ so vastly? They were not fortunate enough to have the education and all the other privileges that our youth enjoy today yet they did not present with the problems that todays youth are presenting.
Somewhere, somehow there’s a missing link. And until we find that missing link our youth will continue relentlessly on this path of destruction. Today’s youth are tomorrows future it is so rightfully said. But what future do we have with such rebellious and degenerate youth. A future that is bleak and dark.
The Prophet (S.A.W.) has so aptly said that, “Adolescence is a branch of insanity”. In our times, the insane are not confined to our many mental institutions. Just take a look at our youth and you will see a new dimension to insanity.
If we want to in all earnestness , reform our youth so that they can become assets to our societies and usher in a bright future, then we need to handle this generation gap like how our grandparents did it-the good old fashioned way…

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