Practical Spirituality: Bridging the Generation Gap

By Rev. Marla Sanderson

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could fill that gap with harmony and understanding?
Perhaps folks who are “up in their years” might feel like they have a voice in current trends—that they don’t feel powerless or cast aside or threatened by society’s changes.
In turn, maybe today’s youth would appreciate those who came before them—the ones who laid the foundation for the quality of life we have today and who pioneered the conveniences we take for granted.

The generation gap has become a chasm, and there’s little interest or attempt in our society to narrow it.

Today’s entertainment industry—movies, TV shows and commercials—teach us to ridicule people rather than understand them. It’s “zap and run” and it’s supposed to be funny.
No matter what our age, we each express life in our own unique way. Some have more experience than others. Some have more interests. Some are even willing to go the extra inch to see what “they” are all about.

Disrespect, judgment and fear melt away when we get to know each other. From the biggest bully to the fluffiest featherbrain to the grumpiest grouch, we all have two major things in common: Love and fear.

In that way, relationships are simple. Love unites us and fear separates us.
We can all learn something from each other, especially those who annoy us or live in a different way.

People usually fear what they don’t understand. Fear separates us from others who might be different. It makes people hesitate to help out if someone drops a package or even falls down—and it keeps us from clearing up a misunderstanding with a neighbor or a friend.
A kind word could do a lot for someone’s day, but that means we might need to get involved. It is easier to look away and let the chance to Love go by.

What are we waiting for? What’s the worst thing that can happen?

Most people won’t take a second to seriously consider that question. Yet it makes the difference between being willing to love and not being willing.

Love isn’t threatened by someone who’s different. Love is the sweetest experience in the world, yet it takes confidence and commitment to express it. It risks possible rejection and never lets us feel good at someone else’s expense.

Love meets people on their own level and lets them know it’s OK for them to be exactly the way they are.

We each have the opportunity to express more love. It might take a stretch, but the more we do it the better we feel about ourselves.

Who can you start loving today?

Marla Sanderson has been a student of spiritual practice for more than 35 years. She began as Assistant Director of The Next Step, a psychic and spiritual community in a New Mexico ghost town. As workshop leader, teacher, practitioner, and minister, she has led relationship and personal growth workshops, taught psychic development and meditation, Living Love, and the Science of Mind. Marla is available for workshops and speaking engagements. She recently founded the New Thought Center for Creative Living.

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