Spending time with the Baby Boomer generation (including some Gen Xers) has made me realise something very interesting regarding how they view familial and platonic relationships.
I was having a conversation with a baby boomer about Generation Z and how they aren’t hanging out with their biological family (cousins, etc) but they will make time for friends.
In the same breathe they said “In the end your family is the one who stands by you” and I realised a couple of things
1. What I said on this episode of the podcast was correct in that, most of the time, the older generation does things for family (especially during difficult situations – funerals et al) out of obligation and not out of a sense of unity and/or camaraderie or friendship. Like, they will stay without talking to a biological family member for a while but during moment of strife, they come to the forefront guns blazing with a sense of entitlement that goes to show that what they are doing, is about optics.
2. I think/know there is a great disconnect between the generations when it comes to relationships because the older generation refuses to see the following:
- Future generations are becoming more like themselves and less like their parents
- Future generations are quite self aware which manifests in how older folks see them as self indulgent
- Future generations are not playing by the handbook that previous generations followed – and in the case of this particular post – when it comes to relationships.
The existence and reliance on an emotional family – as opposed to strictly a biological family – is something real and that we MUST continue to cultivate, despite what the older folks say (Also remember that parents raise their children to obey and therefore can’t seem to understand this shift in how a generation deals with the issue of family).
I am especially proud and at the same time envious of future generations who are choosing their families.
PS: This is not to say that your biological family cannot be your emotional family.
PPS: I do not want to speak on instances where family has ostracized you and seeking family is a matter of survival. I lack the range to discuss it.