As 20-somethings, we’re not that old — not that young. But we’re used to being shushed by our parents and older relatives who say, “abhi tum bacche ho” or “bade hamesha sahi bolte hain!“.
So even if we are right, we often remain silent. Even if we are mature enough to handle a situation, we’re asked to sit back and let the elders do their job — due to the common notion that age is the measure of maturity. Is it, really?
In India, especially, older people are always considered to be right, out of fear or respect. This misconception can affect you in the workplace too.
Kabir Pathania, 23, probationary officer at Allahabad Bank, shares, “It happens with me all the time; at meetings, my opinion hardly matters. Other young colleagues are shut out too. We’ve had a few hitches at work because of this. But you know what they say, grey matters!”
We feel sorry for those who continue to have a conservative mentality. Yes, there are times when older people are right, but this is not the ultimate truth to live by. Young Indians are curious, rational, and mature, and want to be taken seriously.
Why are younger people considered to be less mature?
The answer to this question is simple: no one has ever tried to question this idea, and we’ve blindly followed what our preceding generations have told us (because apparently, they’re always right!).
Now our elders have obviously lived a little more than we have, so they’re bound to have had more experience than us. But all elders are smarter, and all the younger ones are immature, is just an over-generalisation!
How would you compare the maturity levels of a 30-year-old privileged man who’s lived a comfortable life, versus a 20-year-old underprivileged labourer, who’s seen hardships all his life? Truth be told, maturity comes with life experiences — not age. The more you see, the more you endure, and the more you grow as a person.
Freelance writer Saloni Mittal, 22, opines, “The idea of older people being right always is not something we should be proud of — it is only (a perception). It is a weakness of the system.”
What is the true meaning of maturity?
What do we mean when we say a person is mature enough? This does not mean that a person has attained a high level of intelligence. A high level of empathy can be regarded as a mark of maturity.
If you are able to forgive a person without being revengeful, or if you are ready to sacrifice your joy for someone else’s benefit, you can be called mature.
Dehradun-based independent reporter Sushila Vatsyayan, 27, has the following ideology: “I think maturity doesn’t come with age. It comes with the experiences one has faced. But what can we do if the bade log won’t understand this?”
We must, in fact, do something about this.
Why change the notion?
We must stand up for what we believe in, because we’re mature enough to make our own decisions, and accountable for our own actions. This may lead to arguments or misunderstandings, but it’s a small step towards the change.
Millennial opinions are more important than ever before. Since we’re so clued-up on world affairs and technology, it’s possible that our opinions and decisions could be better than those made by the elders.
We need to take responsibility and voice ourselves, be it at home, at work, or with respect to the society and politics — because we’re mature enough to do so.
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar