Last night, I watched How to Train Your Dragon with my family – my dad, mom, David, Joshua, Joshua’s girlfriend, Kristie, and my wife. Well, we watched while some cooked (Carla and I), some baked (Mom and Kristie), some played Kingdom Rush (Joshua and Kristie) and some dozed off (Pop, Dave, and Kristie).
Anyway, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I would highly recommend it. You know this will be worth it because I don’t recommend silly-waste-of-time shows. (I didn’t say I don’t watch them. I just don’t recommend them. Hehe) It’s one of my dad’s favorite movies and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great story with deep father-son dynamics. Here are some thoughts I had afterwards:
1. It is common for generations to have disagreements.
This almost doesn’t need to be pointed out. It’s so common; it’s a typical movie cliché. There are so many comedies of an older guy not getting the younger guy, the misunderstood child, the irritable but well-meaning older person, etc.
While this doesn’t sound positive, this is actually good news. For one, it means that what you’re going through isn’t a unique scenario that only applies to you. There’s no need for the drama that insists you’re the only one going through that pain. (Sorry, Simple Plan) It also means that your kid isn’t necessarily possessed by the devil. He might just be younger. Secondly, if it’s common, it’s also beatable. How do we know? Because many people can work out their generational gap. That means, we can make it work.
2. Same values don’t always mean same methods.
We might have different ways of doing things, but that doesn’t always mean that we don’t care about the same things. Instead of debating over methods first, let’s establish a point of agreement based on values.
3. New ideas often come from the fringes.
Don’t count people out. The weird, unpopular loser could come up with something everyone will be thankful for. Families accept each other along with our idiosyncrasies. Good organizations build in processes that bring in ideas from the edge.
4. Words of affirmation from the older generation are so powerful.
Four simple words by the father – “I’m proud of you,” and Hiccup felt like he could do anything. If the older generation knew just how valuable and powerful their encouragement was, they would give it generously. Younger people act like they don’t care, but they really like it.
5. There is an irreplaceable synergy when generations work together.
People often bemoan that it’s a shame that the energy of the young can’t be combined with the wisdom of age and experience. Well, that can’t be done by an individual (except Benjamin Button), but it can be done by a team, by a family. When we learn how to talk and work with each other, we accomplish much more than either can do alone.
6. Nightfuries were not in the original books that inspired the movie.
A fact pointed out to me by one of the children mentioned in my wife’s blog. It makes me want to read the books now.