Creating a world for all ages.
Being a lecture delivered at the 2022 International Youth Day organized by The Joyce Daniels Organization today Friday 12th August, 2022 at the Okaijesan Palace Hall, Irrua, Esan Central LGA, Edo State.
COMR. OBASANMI JUDE PHD
CHIEF RESPONSIBILITY OFFICER
Josemaria Escriva Foundation (JOSEF), Ekpoma.
The society in which we live has undergone astonishing changes in recent decades. Every one, it seems, lives his or her life at a break neck pace; constantly rushing here and there to get everything done even when such ventures does not give God glory. Technological advances that once promised more leisure time now seem only to push us further behind making it ever difficult to catch up. So, we frantically scramble.
The scenario presented above, aptly describes the hazy and crowdy nature of our society where some persons are described as old and the others as young persons; claims that there is distinction between the young and the old. Perhaps, all now feel entitled to either feeling old or young or better still youthful. In one way or the other we have the feelings of belonging to a particular class with little consciousness of how we were before or the next age we are approaching.
However, I still hold the old time view that age is a thing of the mind and the capacity to live well and our we decide to live healthy with other generations is an issue we need to consider very seriously; This of course forms the theme for the 2022 International Youth.
I wish to thank most sincerely, the organizers and sponsors of this programme, Joyce Daniels Organization who in their magnanimity extended their rare invitation to me to serve basically as the key note speaker on a chosen topical issue that concerns the issue of intergeneration solidarity. Permit me to thank my wife, children and Project Team members of Josemaria Escriva Foundation for the conducive arena they provided for me to reflect on the assigned topic and put my thoughts down for todays presentation.
The theme of the 2022 international youth day Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages reminds us of a basic truth: we need people of all ages, young and old alike, to join forces to build a better world for all. Too often, ageism, bias and discrimination according to the United Nations prevent this essential collaboration. When young people are shut out of the decisions being made about their lives, or when older people are denied a chance to be heard, we all lose.
Solidarity and collaboration are more essential than ever, as our world faces a series of challenges that threaten our collective future. From COVID-19 to climate change, to conflicts, poverty, inequality and discrimination, we need all hands on deck to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and build the better, more peaceful future we all seek.
The word Intergenerational
Intergenerational as used in this paper is a particular behaviour, belief, culture or practice existing or occurring between generations. In other words these features are shared from one generation to the other.
The word Solidarity
Simply put, is unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group. Solidarity that underpins welfare arrangements is based on a perception of mutual obligation towards an anonymous dependent other and is enforced by the government. Solidarity in families is directed towards a concrete other and is based on free choice, albeit often accompanied by a strong sense of personal duty.
To stand in solidarity means that any time you express support of a group or the people in it, you are showing solidarity with them. The word is used most often to describe a sense of unity with a political group, a group of striking workers, or people who have been deprived of their rights in some way. Solidarity emphasizes the interdependence between individuals in a society, which allows individuals to feel that they can enhance the lives of others. It is a core principle of collective action and is founded on shared values and beliefs among different groups in society.
Intergenerational solidarity refers to the degree of closeness and support between different generations. The notion of solidarity helps us to understand how people of different generations relate to, help and depend on one another in their daily lives.
Intergenerational relationships within the Esan people are generally marked by respect, responsibility, reciprocity and resiliency. Throughout the family history, younger, middle, and older generations develop ways to support one another in the later years. The question is does this still exist in our communities. I leave the answer to you.
There exists a model of intergenerational solidarity. This model conceptualizes intergenerational family solidarity as a multidimensional phenomenon with six components that reflect exchange relations: structural, association, affection, consensus, functional and normative solidarity. Time may not permit us to discuss them one after the other.
The 2022 International Youth Theme:
Growing up as a young man I realized that certain behaviours, traditions moved from one generation to the other. Recall that youths are usually called the leaders of tomorrow however this slang has changed to be that youths are the leaders of today. In other words leadership starts now. This therefore infers in a way that there was a yesterday which some persons lead that is now giving room for the youths to lead today. As it is also said, what an elderly man can see sitting, a youth even if he stands on top of the highest mountain cannot see. What this brings to mind is the need for the younger generation to tap from the old. Youth seek to gain the acceptance, attention and affection of others. They seek to master their environment and achieve their goals. Also, they need some level of independence. What this means is that, they need to gain control of one’s destiny, rather than be at the mercy of others. Youth seek to control their world and gain the respect of others.
Most young persons are by nature vibrant, creative and ready to learn. To this end, we need to support young people with massive investments in education, health, employment and skills-building. The move of Joyce Daniels Organization to amongst others, Create points of agreement across generations the elderly, the middle aged and the young, stir up a sense of responsibility with clear goals for youths in Esan Central Local Government Council, with focus on Enterprise, Politics and Security, create avenues for fun and bonding amongst Esan Central Youths, provide business grants for qualifying entrepreneurs is quite commendable. My appeal to the younger persons is that they should effectively tap these rear opportunities
It is interesting to state that, we need to support gender equality and expanded opportunities for young people to participate in civic and political life. A situation were the youths are most times within political arenas seen as thugs, used to snatch ballot boxes, come crime amongst others is most unfortunate. Rather they should be involved in decision making processes and also implementation. By so doing, they can effectively learn and if there are mistakes, they can subsequently be corrected. This is part of the intergenerational solidarity we are talking about
It is not enough to listen to young people. We need to integrate them into decision-making mechanisms at the local, national and international levels.
Intergenerational conflict occurs within generations such as among children or among the elderly. For example, a group of teenagers may bully other uncool kids in campus. Be that as it may, there could be some conflict in intergenerational solidarity. Intergenerational conflict describes cultural, social or economic discrepancies between generations. These can be caused by value shift or conflict of interest between younger and older generations. Where this is not properly handled by relevant stakeholders, could lead to several pains that would require another generation to correct. Also according to Oniovokukor (2022), intergenerational conflict tends to arise between different generations as a result of prejudice, and cultural, social or economic discrepancies. Problems can also arise as a result of the vastly different communication styles exhibited by workers born in different eras.
The worst part of this conflict is the one that manifest in what is called intergenerational trauma. Intergenerational trauma can negatively impact families as a result of:
Unresolved emotions and thoughts about a traumatic event.
Negative repeated patterns of behaviour including beliefs about parenting.
Untreated or poorly treated substance abuse or severe mental illness.
Some persons, can go a step further to describe this conflict situation as a case of being intergenerational disadvantaged. This disadvantage state can be induced by the attitudes, social circumstances or economic limitations of a person’s parents, relations and leaders leading to poverty, lack of access to opportunities that other children may have, etc.
Finally, intergenerational gap can impact relationships between family members of different generations. As younger generations are growing up in a mobile, fast-changing world, they experience changing values and attitudes that do not fit with the general traditions that are held by their parents or grandparents.
However, it is important to note that efforts must be made to strengthen intergenerational relationships and solidarity and by extension reduce intergenerational conflict. You can as individuals or group promote the intergenerational relationships within your own family by encouraging your children and grandchildren to visit as often as possible. Build family relationships during get-together, by doing activities that get everyone involved, like playing some board games or teaching them your favorite card game.
On this important day, lets join hands across generations to break down barriers, and work as one to achieve a more equitable, just and inclusive world for all people. We need to ensure that older generations have access to social protection and opportunities to give back to their communities and share the decades of lived experience they have accumulated. It’s important to treat people equally but not necessarily the same,” Format said. “Self-awareness is the key to effectively managing generational differences.
Be an agent of positive and enduring socialization that will bring about a healthy intergenerational solidarity and make Nigeria great again.
I wish you a joyous celebration.
Thank you for your time.
Build the Youth Build the nation.