Updated: Jul 18, 2022
Conversation with Randhir Witana - Musician, belongs to Gen Y, has a very open-minded view of the world, raised Catholic, but now leaning towards Buddhism, and is of Burgher descend.
When I initiate conversations about my project with my friend, I usually state what I'm trying to do, but don't reveal where my thoughts are going. This way, I get a bit of an undiluted set of opinions from there, before I offer more information. For me, this is important as I want to see the sides of the story I'm not seeing yet before I try to control their perspective.
Randhir's concerns at the beginning were how Gen Z needs to learn empathy. This is not just a Gen Z issue, but an age issue. It's common in all generations. The empathy they showcase has to be genuine too.
He spoke of a conversation with his mother during the height of Covid 19 pandemic. She was elderly and sick at the time. However, she could not care less about Covid. She's said she's been through World War ii, Sirimavo's Economic Crisis, JVP Insurrection, Civil War, Tsunami, End of War, Easter Sunday bombing, and the Covid Pandemic. Now it's the Aragalaya 2022 - the Sri Lankan's protest against the President of Sri Lanka.
She has said that during all the crisis' she's gone through people still went to school, they went university, they got jobs, they got married, they had kids, and this economic crisis is 'your generation's crisis. Suck it up, and move on. You'll be okay'.
There's a clash of alignment - not knowing your history. When you weren't part of a bigger crisis before, the next crisis or the present crisis seems like the biggest thing. Not knowing that history repeats itself is a fear itself. Could this be an intervention?
Randhir also emphasised that perhaps I should look into moving the talkers than trying to adjust the listeners. The older generation needs a lesson in learning. You might not appreciate the other generations, but at least find common ground. Find a way to relate.
Older generations 'shephard'. They are the teachers, the counselors, the parents. They don't have the need to be the listener.
Speaking of older generations who are parents and their ability to empathise, he said they didn't know to empathise. It's not a concept they know about.