Covey is credited with the quote "to understand all is to forgive all." So are scores of other people. Whoever said it, it’s wisdom. I’d take it another step and say that to understand all reveals hidden beauty.
And that’s what we strive to uncover in my intergenerational presentation.
I can list facts and figures about the generations, but the best understanding comes from conversation. That’s why I spend more time guiding groups to create questions to ask each other. Of course, some of the questions need editing… like "why are you so cheap?"
Once we have our questions, we talk to each other about our worldviews, the influences in our lives that help to shape who we are, and what we would like other generations to know about us.
Last week, my intergenerational communication presentation at American Association of University Women concluded with some very touching ways members of different generations admired each other. The question I had posed was,
- In what ways would you like to be more like the members of the younger/older generation?
The responses might not have been as precise or universal as survey results aggregated into a listing of facts and figures might be. But they were far more moving.
I don’t know what I was saying when my host snapped this picture, but it looks like I was enjoying saying it.