Hi there – Millennial gal over here.
Everyday, I move closer to the big 28 – ya know, the moment when my body “officially” switches from growing to aging – and further away from being called a child *ahem* young adult. Here’s the thing; we are constantly faced with the concept of transition. While I might not share the life experience of an elder yet, I can still identify with human feelings of isolation, shame, fear and anxiety – ok let’s also add some positive feelings like joy, contentment, pride and happiness.
I’m told that most of us live life in phases. These periods are forever marked in our conscience, telling us that the way we are living life must change or adjust to a new factor. When we leave grade school and enter college our life shifts; we leave college and our life shifts again. We get married. We get divorced. We start paying my own bills. Sure, these experiences are all distinctly personal but I’m sure the same feelings are there. The pit in your stomach, the flutter of a heart beat, the dryness of your throat – we all know those feelings…
Like that time you were in the lunchroom … you couldn’t find your place of safety in the cafeteria or a welcoming gaze.
Or that lonely walk you took to visit your best friend’s grave.
How about when you moved into your new home.
I wonder if you imagined an age for any of those moments. If you did, how old were you? Does it matter? The feelings are just the same. As we grow and change, as we age and experience, feelings persist. Our feelings remain.
We need to stop drawing distinctions from why we are different and instead start drawing connections to why we are similar. I find that when focusing on the differences of another it can be harder to forge a positive relationship with them, let alone a relationship at all. On the other hand, when I find commonalities with someone I am talking with I feel more open and willing to know them deeper. It sounds like a good life skill to have in general, right?
Once we erase the circumstance, we see the truth of the heart. How we treat each other should be anchored to this truth. It is an old lesson; to treat others the way we wish to be treated. Yet, we often forget it’s importance. Remember that every person in this world has the ability to feel the same way you do. Elders, Adults, and Youth all equal: human – we are just souls living different chapters in time.