Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What's in an age?

Birthday Cake
Originally uploaded by catsper.
I end up very often into situations where my age pops up. It goes from "in your age" to "when you are my age" all the way up to "are you really that old". I guess my work somewhat explains this. At the same time I work a lot with teenagers and also speak often about youth in events where the entire audience is significantly older than I am.

During the years I have developed a toolbox filled with witty remarks for occasions where I am branded as the voice of the young people. The most powerful ones seem to be the ones referring to approaching thirty and what my parents had already in my age. Good counterpunch is also to start talking about the middle-aged - this usually irritates the same people who only a split second later have made critical and cynical remarks on today's youth.

The most irritating thing for me is when my views are dissed with the following remark:"Tommi, you will understand in twenty years." Another that makes me go up the wall is the following:"That's how the world seemed like also to me when I was your age but when you get a little more experience, you will also understand that things are not that simple."

For a long time I just grunted and kept on going. Nowadays I usually show genuine irritation. This does not need to be tolerated.

"I don't care if there are years between us but I am usually able to understand positions of others. Please explain to me what is the difference between mine and your perception", was my comment lately in a work situation.

1 comment:

Pinja said...

I have also started to show my irritation when I end up conversations like ” When I was in your age, I was an idealist, too.” It´s impossible to debate about something if this is the only argument the opposition does have. There is nothing which proves that I`m going to live same kind of life than person who was born during Second World War.

A few of weeks ago I was chatting with the young politician who told me about his ridiculous experiences from panel discussion which was held by our Student Union of Technology just before the parliamentary elections almost four years ago. He told that during panel discussion one of the other candidates had said to him that “she doesn’t want to argue with person who is younger than herself, it’s not fair”. Well, it didn’t matter that it was a panel discussion..