Gainesville, FL

Opinion: Why is there such a divide?

Elle Brown

Often I wonder why the older generation is so opposed to people under thirty-five. Living in a growing city like Gainesville and having lived in a city like Tampa, there are various differences. One wildly similar thing that I notice is a lack of room for both generations having a common ground. This isn't just an issue here, but it's an issue almost all over the world. In other countries they blame western civilizations, younger folk. It has nothing to do with the western idealist, but more so of a generation that was and still is tired of not being heard. Being twenty-five, having a friend group around the same age and hearing other people in my generation vent, we all share the trauma bond of feeling let down and ultimately not being cared for properly. Most of us, Gen-Z, Millennials and Zillennials, feel let down not only by our family but by society.
breakdown of each generation(Acreative/Canva)

We've been told, we're the worst, we're lazy, we don't want to work; we don't respect or take anything seriously, and various other things so many times. I respectfully disagree we are the ones who want to make a name for ourselves; the ones who have to figure it out; the ones who can't and won't take no for an answer. We were born when everything was changing and raised by those who wanted something different but were too afraid to take it. We are our ancestors, wildest dreams, the things we're doing, creating, and becoming. We are the literal embodiment of a dream deferred. You would think our older counterparts would be happy, but it seems they aren't. I notice, the older generation is envious and a tidbit jealous. They feel as if we should just shut up and deal with things just as they did.

I've asked older people why they feel the way they do and the answer is undeniably the same. They feel like we have no reason to struggle and we should just be okay with the way things are. The notion is so absurd, if anything living became harder. The minimum wage and the price of living are no longer congruent. The price of living has sky-rocketed while the minimum wage is crawling, trying to meet it. Jobs are suffering to pay employees because of it. The price ceilings on everything are ridiculous and back in their day, they did not have the internet; they relied on word of mouth. People my age are facing a global precedence by posting a picture status, or video that can go viral in point two seconds. The world is ever changing and we only have more and more problems.

We are literally getting by, by the skin of our backs. Trying to maintain a social life, mental health and affordability in this economy is hectic; now add being scrutinized by our elders who should help us. Tell us how we are supposed to cope with it? Looking at the world economy, you'd think the boomers and Gen-X would be more understanding. We are the ones who have to live here, the Millennials; Gen-Z. Covid killed a good percentage of older people; boomers, and Gen-X are no longer the majority.

I'd love to have an open conversation with an array of people my age to seventy, to open up the floor for understanding us and vice versa. Sadly, I've seen that no one will be honest unless it's a random social experiment, and even then someone leaves feeling unheard; worse than before. I admire things like the Cut and others who speak against these issues, but in the end, what's the point if no one is listening.

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Successful business owner, wife, writer, chef and brander.

Gainesville, FL

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