During Sunday lunch with my family, I found myself in a conversation with relatives of all ages. This was not new – my family always enjoyed engaging in conversations all together. As usual, we ended up talking about anything under the sun, from current events to everyday life. In the midst of our conversations, I noticed some differences in the way each generation expressed their ideas. The lolos and lolas spoke with a certain wisdom, as they began to reminisce on past memories paired with short lectures about what should be done next. The parents were pretty straight to the point – they were practical and stated the facts, colored with their own personal stance. My generation just blurted out whatever was on our mind, hoping that it would make sense somehow.
Listening to our conversations showed me the power of words in action; it is important to note not only what we had to say, but how we say it. Our choice of words is truly a creative configuration that not only expresses our thoughts, but reflects on our entire being as well. In my discourse with my family, I came to the realization that we are a product of our times. The striking differences between each generation showed me that the way we communicate is a result of many things, such as our past experiences and the current state of our lives we are in now. I can explain this terms of the patterns we have shown in our conversations: My grandparents’ philosophical outlook may have been a result of their experiences, specifically that in the war, while my parents’ attention to functionality may be a result of their current position in life that requires them to balance both work and family. My generation, in saying everything, reflects how we are still trying out different experiences and figuring out what this means to us.
Despite the differences in our expression, I realize that what we are saying doesn’t differ too much after all — we still share a lot of the same core values in our train of thought, such as empathy and kindness. This is what links us together, along with the rest of humanity. Although we may process the world in different ways, we all have the same desire to be with and for the Other; the difference is in the way we express this desire, based on who we are and all our experiences. At the end of the day, even if our words are configured in different manners, we are ultimately saying the same thing.