In the Light of the World Column of the Catholic Times a diocesan priest, in charge of the worker movement in the diocese gives us the need to communicate beyond the generational conflict by talking to each other.
The point where generational conflicts arise sharply in our society is in political debate. The problem is that it's not a peaceful debate, a constructive conversation, it's usually an emotional fight that hurts the other. What is worse is logical reasoning and factual problems are pushed aside; you are right or I am right. In today's complex society, objective judgment on issues is not easy; it's a pity that only emotional conflicts are encouraged.
Bong Joon-ho's film 'Parasites' has been praised worldwide. In his interview, Bong said, "I think we are dealing with the issues of courtesy and human dignity. The film depicts the reality of parasitism, symbiosis, and win/win and where they break down." The film shows within society conflict, aversion, indifference and hatred, and the resulting tragic catastrophe. In a heartless society, the little people have a difficult time but along with those sympathetic to them, we should make sure that we never give up on the last bulwark of the human condition— courtesy towards each other.
To heal generational conflicts in our society, we must go beyond differences and walls and recognize, respect and communicate with each other correctly. Clearly, different views and interpretations of society are needed. But the solution also requires a cool and accurate diagnosis.
Individualism, capitalism, endless competition for entrance to colleges and the workplace are combative and challenging and why people need sympathy and empathy, and a time for healing and regeneration. Is this not why eating and drinking alone has become popular in our tired society?
On the other hand, affluent but heartless societies at one point see a need for conversation and coexistence, but also the increase of confrontation and conflict. Each segment of society is asking for their rights and intergenerational issues are often blamed on the other and hold the other responsible.
We are not accustomed to talking when the social atmosphere makes it difficult but isn't this our fault? Ideology, politics, our individual selfishness, and greed make us give up on a win/win solution. Consequently, we give up on hope and live with hostility and hatred.
There is no royal road! Only the right conversation! Catholic social doctrine calls for the involvement and interest of believers in widespread social problems. It is to look at the other side as a partner and collaborator, not as an enemy, and find a way for a win-win solution. The essence of generational conflicts and difficulties experienced by seniors today is caused by differences in culture and perceptions, conflict of interests, but in essence, the lack of understanding and communication with each other is the root cause.
How do you meet aging societies and what will you do to remedy intergenerational conflict? How will you communicate? The way is to talk to each other with respect. We must talk beyond the differences and the walls. Recognize and respect the other, listen, desire peace, forgive, search for harmony, and have a concern for the weak. At that time, hope arises for the elderly and for our society and we become messengers of peace.