The Unboxed And Boxed Generation
The other day my daughter was trying to explain to me the generation labels. She told me that I belonged to the label ‘Baby Boomers’ and she herself was ‘Millennial’ or ‘Gen Y’.
Hmmm, now that was a little thought provoking. Yes, thought provoking because that is the only thing I am doing these days…’Provoke every one’. Anyways I don’t bother about what everyone around says about me because patience is a virtue, least to be found in the modern world. I try to ignore when my husband too reiterates, “Why do you keep provoking everyone?” Hmmm! forget it. Who cares!
I decided to read more regarding the generation labels my daughter was talking about so that I am not ignorant about the terms new generation uses. Believe me, it’s fun to be at par with the younger generation.
In India (real India, not the Angrezi India), we talk about generation gaps and differences only when an eligible bachelor in the family decides to marry out of caste and that too without dowry or may be, when a girl in her late twenties instead of getting married, announces her decision to settle abroad and work. We Indians are capable of triggering a generation war, but have never thought of labeling generations like the Americans.
The generation labels referred to by young Indians are defined by American researchers. These labels are based on certain historical and technological events. There are roughly five generations at any given time which make up a society. These are…
- Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before
- Baby Boomers aka Flower Children : Born 1946 to 1964
- Generation X aka The Sandwich Generation : Born 1965 to 1976
- Millennials or Gen Y aka Me Me Me Generation : Born 1977 to 1995
- Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials aka The Unknown Generation : Born 1996 and later
Funnily enough the characteristics of each generation label mentioned in the various websites are so specific to the western world. In context of Indians it is more about individuals and how well they manage to survive globalization. It is about our mindset and ability to adjust to the fading social divide.
The Boxed and the Unboxed
Personally speaking generations change with their outlook towards their life. In today’s modern India where change is the only constant thing, there are young people who have an obsolete mindset. I call them ‘Boxed Generation’. On the contrary there are the ones who accept change graciously and allow each living entity to grow independently. That is my ‘Unboxed Generation’.
For me these labels are not at all age specific. These two categories have nothing to do with their birth year slots. My labels are sprawled all over the ages of both the genders.
The ‘Unboxed Generation’ includes all those men and women who have tried to bring about a change in their own lives as well as in that of the family members. They vie for personal growth. These are the people who make small efforts to bring about a change in and around themselves.
My Unboxed family
My maternal grand mother was just seven years old when she got married. She used to narrate incidents, how her mother in law used to dress her up for school. She would tell us how her husband (my grand father) ensured that she did her homework without fail. Later the same lady, my grand mother, gave up every piece of land and property when decided to shift to Nainital from Almorah and later Delhi, just for the sake of children’s education and career.
My paternal grand mother on the other hand was a school drop out. After her marriage into a rich and famous educated family of Lahore, (then India) she used to be lost during family conversations because most of the family members conversed in English. She had the fire to learn new things so she hid a dictionary under her bed. The moment someone in the family used any English word she didn’t understand, she excused herself and got under the bed to look for it in the dictionary. One fine day when my grand father realized her urge to learn, he arranged for an English teacher for her.
There people like my parents who always pushed the children to be achievers in all kinds of extra-curricular activities along with academics. They ensured that their daughters were taught well to be independent. While many of their family and friends were going crazy with the thought of giving birth to a boy, my parents were busy exposing their daughters to varied art, cultures, books, music by travelling with them all around the country.
Such are the people who shaped my thought process and made me belong to the ‘Unboxed Generation’ like them.
Are you Boxed!
On the other hand there are people all around us who belong to my description of ‘Boxed Generation’ because they feel threatened if a woman starts taking independent decisions. These are the people who look for negativity all around them and try to deliberately be as repressive as possible.
The Boxed generation loves to pass judgement on everyone but refuse to accept their own faults. They are the controlling people who are the unhappiest to see others happy.
For me there can be only two labels for generations based on our thoughts, ‘Boxed and Unboxed’. It is difficult to overcome generation gap based on age and years but when it is a mental phenomenon, it’s easy to shift. If you are open to accept change and ready to make others feel independent, you surely are ‘Unboxed’. Believe me it is easy to make a paradigm shift from Boxed to Unboxed. All we require is a little receptiveness, acceptance of others thoughts and actions. Let us all take a small step on the path of revelation of self and move on to the final revolution in ourselves. Not ‘Boxed’ but ‘Unboxed’ is the way to go.