Hot on the heels of the NYT Mazagine‘s expose about 20-somethings comes a piece from the Wall Street Journal that discusses the follies of giving advice to young people. Specifically, the article investigates a widening of the advice gap rooted in a devaluation of accumulated wisdom and a leveling of the relationships between old and young. We in the Jewish community would do well to take note of what this article underscores as we work to engage 20-somethings.
Jeffrey Zaslow writes:
“Older people have always offered advice to younger people, with words of wisdom culled from their memories of youth. And, of course, in every era, young people have found advice from elders to be outdated and ineffectual. These days, however, given how fast the world is changing, there’s been a clear widening of the advice gap.
It’s rooted in a devaluation of accumulated wisdom, a leveling of the relationships between old and young. On many fronts, people from Generation Y—now ages 16 to 32— assume their peers know best. They doubt those of us who are older can truly understand their needs and concerns.
Certainly, many of today’s young adults are very close to their parents—whether they’re texting them all day long or living in their basements. But that doesn’t mean they’re always seeking or embracing parental advice.”