Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
July 26, 1974     Arkansas Catholic
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July 26, 1974

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THE GUARDIAN, JULY 26, 1974 PAGE 5 -:ridges Between People r . ror ' ner Michael Warren, C.S.P. I tHERE SUCH a thing as a ed.ratin Gap? I would think "DPecially after having rnad to hundreds of parents Ly .he past few years during gitxars on adolescent crises orr ,.gap was also clearly :s [.ted in many of the young "IU!UIE "2 . I have spoken with or .ra,ed letters from It is a sad :sSiion. Both the young people their parents care about ivitbt L _ her. Each group wants to 'n-aerstoo6 and loved by the auL Yet at times there seems e an unbridgeable gulf een them. That's the O ration gap. It is a painful :Y in many homes. rt Yet the matter is not as athde as all that. Distinctions thtto be made if we are to at Stand what the generation trcllt all about. I find there are .ndllly two very different sh of gaps between the ed rations There is the C.I nal generation gap and the )m fal generation gap. Let me Co'ate. Jog ms i qul ry, ype ster_._ Are Built BARBARA IS 19. For the past two years she worked as a laborer on a construction gang near Washington. Now she is KNOW YOUR FAITH Sponsored By Arkansas State Council Knights of Columbus RETREA T$ . 1974 he Abbey Retreat, Coury House, Subiaco, Arkansas 72865 ,MEN "I|IS[ 16 - 18 I'u'omoted for the men of the Diocese WOMEN 55!'toht r 67' ' I - t; Vomens Retreat -COUPLES l ily 2fi. 28 ('ouples Retreat MIXED :ff,,)ust 2 -  Family Retreat __t0ber 18  20. I'arents Week-end, Subiaco Academy vember I - 3 Cnrsillistas of Memphis, TN kb'Ptenlher 51 i veolber SPECIAL GROUPS 6 - 8 First Presbyterian, Fort Smith 8- lit ('hristian Church Marriage Comm. Lab. Talequah, Okla. RELIGIOUS & PRIESTS IIllst fi - 12 =tember l'I - 15 !entber 211- 22 telllber 2 I . :tber 8 - I 29 J:tOher I I - 13 M !tber 25 - 27 Sisters (()pen to all Sisters) PARISH ('hrisl the King Parish, Little Rock I'arishes of Fort Smith Good Counsel Parish, Little Rock St. Peter's Parish, Mountain Home I'arishes of ilot Springs St. ,Ioseph's Parish, Fayetteville YOUTH Jgllst, 30 . Sept. i ('YO, st. Peter's Parish, Mountain Home MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER IVelnber 15 - 17 Marriage Encounter. Snbiaco No. 4 ,. OPEN DATES November 22 - 24 ,, l)erember 6 - 8 i! I l)et'ember 13 - 15 oL PRIVATE RETREATS ENCOURAGED ..Jt:eats begin Friday evening and continue until about 3:00 r till' SUnday Cost of Retreat is not fixed although a ' - [ium of $'2 IIO ($40 00for couples) is suggested as an t [," for meals, lodging and Retreat. Retreats for ied[ii? us and Priests are arranged for the particular it;:s-" rnte for reservations to: The Abbey Retreat. Coury ".;;" S.ubiaco. Arkansas 728';5. Phone: 501-934-2081.' l 00,tor: The Rev ,,crhert Vogelpoh, O SB --- By Human Caring ready to enter college as a fine arts major. She explained that she went into construction because she believes women must begin to break down the stereotypes society has imposed on them. Ideologically there is a chasm between Barbara and her dad. His political philosophy and many of his values are miles removed from Barbara's. Apparently, the two of them love to argue with each other about these matters. In Barbara's case there is a cultural gap between her and her dad. Her attitudes and certain of her values are quite different from his. In high school she absorbed a good deal of radical literature and engaged in intense con- sciousness-raising sessions with her friends. As a result, she approaches many matters from a different angle than her father. And yet, there is no personal distance between these two persons. They love to argue with each other because they love one another. I've seen them shout at each other over presidential conduct, before sitting down to laugh and carry on over pizza. They seem to trust one another, because each has given the other clear signs of caring. In Barbara's case, then, there is a cultural gap but not a personal one. TOM IS 16; and a day student at a Catholic military school. Tom's values and basic al- titudes appear close to those of his career-officer father and of his mother whose best friends for the past 20 years have been wives of army officers. Tom himself reflects the earnestness and dependability one might expect of an army family's son. He is also idealistic and very generous. One would judge that Tom's values, so far at least, are much closer to those of his parents than are Barbara's to hers. And yet all is not well between Tom and his parents. His mother complained to me that Tom doesn't know what real obedience is. He fails to come home at the agreed-on time when he is out late at night. He is also getting surly and abrasive, to the point of an- swering his father back. Tom's father feels that Tom has had everything too easy and takes too much for granted. "Tom doesn't know the meaning of respect." TOM'S STORY, however, is that his father has always treated him like an army private. At 10 it was possible to give no-questions-aked obedience, but not at 16. Tom claims his parents really don't trust him and that they always suspect he is getting into trouble. Their concern, he thinks, is not his welfare but the family reputation Around this family's dinner table, a visitor sees the personal generation gap at work. Politeness abounds, but there are few signs of deep caring They don't listen to one another. They express little interest in one another's activities and concerns. In this family there is a serious per- sonal gap between the generations, though not much of a cultural gap. Bridges must be built from both sides. At least that was.the conclusion I came to as I watched the Verrazano Bridge being built in the early 1960s in Brooklyn. And yet, bridge- building is easiest when done from the more solid and more accessible side. Though many will object to hearing it, I feel adults have the greater responsibility in the matter of building bridges between the generations. After all, they have more experience and should have greater com- passion and broader un- derstanding. Also, one might expect adults to be more skilled at showing clear signs of caring for the young. The young need verbal and non-verbal signs of affirmation: compliments on their achievements, words of affection, interest in their ideas, and occasionally, the kind of. anger that says, "I care about you enough to be annoyed at .your behavior." THE STUFF out of which bridges between people are constructed is human caring. The bridges constructed of love easily span the generations. I know such bridges can span multiple generations. I have seen teens and elderly persons rejoice in one another's com- pany and peacefully dialogue about one another's values. Barbara's and her dad's dialogues were similar, only much louder. If one of the goals of parish cateehetical programs is to foster community, catechists must examine anew what they can do to foster inter- generational bridges of love. New approaches to family religious education are but a first step. Some parishes have dropped separate programs for older adolescents, who now attend the programs for adults. Whatever the initiatives, there l I Illlllll l l IIII I Illlmm l I ,:TUTORING: I , I II that s really effective! l ,./'7,. - i l ( Park Plaza Center I II  Phone 664-2880 l m I ]Learning Foundations -' I The Tutoring Center : L ill II II II II Ill II II II II HI II II II II II II II IIII is much tha,t can be done to bridge the spaces between persons who need to love one another. 1974 NC News Service To be happy one needs to learn ' the art of loving' "... to be happy, one needs to learn 'the art of loving.' It is an art in which nature itself is a teacher, if it is listened to carefully and interpreted ac- cording to the great sovereign law of love which Christ has taught us, with the strict, vital applications that this law en- tails: love Gad, love your neigh- bor. If we really learned to love as we should,, wouldn't our personal life -- and consequently our community life-- be tran- sformed, into peace and hap- piness?" 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