What can older people learn from young generation?

Aeshan Fernando
5 min readJun 5, 2021


The generation gap is a headline topic that has been subjected to so many debates and arguments by many critics. We find different generations in every society we live in. Each generation has its own unique values, qualities, skills, trends, and so many more. And most importantly each generation can learn and grab so many more from each other. In this modern world, the older generations have a hard time trying to understand how the younger generation thinks and works. On the other hand, the younger generation do not understand how they are living in a world that lacks a broader range of knowledge. By looking at both sides, there is no doubt that everyone can learn from each other.

The process of learning or exchange of knowledge and skills between different age groups are simply known as inter-generational learning. Although we haven’t heard much about this concept, I feel it is very important that we implement inter-generational learning into our educational system and show each generation how much they will be benefited by learning different aspects that each generation has and the way we can use these learning situation-ally. This is not a new concept but it is the simple fact that each other accepts and learns new things from each other, which rarely happens these days!

So with the intention of spreading this concept I thought of highlighting a few areas or rather lessons that older people can learn from the younger generation which is quite a challenging task from my perspective. In general I have seen so much content on how the younger generation can learn lessons from the older generation. In fact it’s true we as the younger generation have lots of lessons to learn from older ones. They have already passed our age and have already gone through the struggles that we are facing right now. But the main variable stands in between what older people have learned at our age and what we are going through is the time difference and the pace the world is moving. So with that said I honestly feel the older generation also has a considerable amount of lessons and reminders to learn from the younger generation.

So in this article I highlight three simple facts that the older generation should learn and remind themselves by looking at the younger generation.


I have this feeling that ego and not being prepared to accept yourself is the brick wall that blocks older people from learning new things from the younger generation, who are at the driving seat of today’s world. It is very well observed that older people reject learning new things, especially from younger ones. Older people see the ideas and knowledge of young people as weird and useless. But younger people have advanced knowledge than older people, which can complete tasks in multiple ways and in a short time.

So let’s just drop the ego, drop the self-esteem which will decay with you when the time comes and look at things in an open minded approach. This is the first and foremost thing that older ones can learn from younger ones. Young minds are so open that they absorb knowledge no matter how daunting or useless it seems. This enables them to get the most out of every situation that they deal with and learn new things and develop new skills. Also the younger generation do not look at the family background, appearance, economic or social status, political view, career choice or the education level when they make friends and interact with each other. They remind the older generation the beauty of having an open mind-set which they had before, way back when they were small kids with no boundaries inside their heads.

Reminds of who they were!

It’s true that when we get older day by day the responsibilities that rest on our shoulders will get bigger and heavier. Many will achieve success in delivering those responsibilities for their loved ones. They make so many sacrifices and many will change their dreams/ paths too. They work so hard and the dreams that they dreamt of, the dreams that kept them alive will slowly fade away. At the end of the day the efforts are appreciated, the responsibilities are delivered but what happened to the dreams that you dreamt of?

Older people see themselves in the lives of younger ones. Young people act as living examples and in fact they do not teach them anything new, but just reminds them of the ambition, hunger, courage and the determination that older people had in the things they did in the past. I think that is why so many grandparents and parents influence their children to follow the dreams that they had rather than letting them chase their own dreams. They expect to see what they did not achieve in the lives of their younger ones.

But look, every day of your life is a new opportunity, a new start to whatever you lost yesterday. So do not let go of your dreams, do not let your responsibilities shift your focus and do not let anybody else sacrifice their dream just to make your dreams come true. Younger people simply remind the older ones to keep up their courage. Even in the midst of your life or else in the latter part of your life you can still work for your dreams. Responsibilities are a must but it’s your dreams that keep you alive. Anyone will lose the purpose of their life when they let go of their dreams. So don’t give up, don’t lose the courage you had but work hard until you reach your dreams.

I see this as the biggest lesson that young ones remind the older people!

Always have a purpose

Well I talked about how important it is for the older people to re-think of the dreams that they had when they were young and the importance of having the courage and hunger even at the latter part of their life to achieve those dreams. However, the core factor that binds this together is having a sense of purpose which I see as a significant quality that the young people have.

Purpose creates a meaning to what you do. It provides direction and helps you guide through your path. Many young minds are driven by a better sense of purpose. Sense of purpose helps them to prioritize what they need to do and what they need to let go. Simply when you have a purpose, the things you do will eventually be productive and you feel passionate, innovative, and committed.

So let’s take a moment and think. We all have tons of things to learn from each other, the only thing we need to do is change our mindset and accept our faults. We all have a lifetime to correct our mistakes. No matter if you are old or young, the points which I mentioned above apply to all of us. If an older person is reading this, please ensure that you do not lose your dreams just because you are older now. Keep fighting. And if a younger guy reads this, please ensure that we all will get older some day. But don’t let yourself lose the energy, spirit and passion you had when you were young. Because our life ends the day we lose our hopes and dreams.