It has been going on for a while: the breaking and dissolving of that special bond between generations. Those who are older do not seem to understand the younger generations, while the youth of today have a tendency to question the old ways. Yet, going through recent tweets and listening to the comments of my fellow peers, it is starting to become obvious to me that something is rising from the ashes, something that has been buried deep down underneath for a while.
Last month’s protest by the elderly for their right to a partial pension led to a renewed sense of respect and admiration between the generations. These people who could well be the grandfathers of their younger fellow fighters have become role models, teaching the younger generations to stand and fight for their rights, regardless of age or physical condition.
During one day of protest, I was sitting in front of the police line just observing what was happening. One of the younger girls who had been dancing, singing, and cheering up the elderly, suddenly got too close to the police line. Within a matter of seconds, she was pulled by one of the police officers into their side of the line. She sat there in the ground hopelessly looking over at us. It was in that instant that one of her friends reached out to her and attempted to pull her back. As she tried to help, the police officers started pulling her as well.
It was then that the elderly protesters ran and started to push and pull their way into the police line to save these two young girls. Luckily, they were able to pull them back to safety on our side. What struck me about that moment was to hear the older male protester come to their defense, saying it was outrageous that these young girls who were only supporting and helping the cause of the elderly would get hurt just for showing solidarity.
Then something incredible happened. About eight older men walked up and stood in front of the police line to put themselves between the cops and the younger demonstrators, so we wouldn’t get hurt. They just stood there guardian angels protecting their younger friends.
What I witnessed made it clear to me that this sense of admiration between the younger and older generations is mutual. Once again, the younger generation is looking up to the older one with a sense of respect and admiration—a feeling that is being reflected back at them by these beautiful eyes that rest behind the wrinkles of many years and knowledge.
It cannot be denied that the protest has awakened something deep inside all of us—something that will hopefully continue to burn as the years go by.