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7 thorny topics of comparison between Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z

Dialogue between 'incompatible generations' may not be impossible, suggests Gianrico and Giorgia Carofiglio's book


Are communication and constructive dialogue between different generations, separated not only by a few decades of life but above all by such rapid and radical social and technological evolution, possible? Before answering with a blunt, quick and decisive NO, it might be useful to leaf through the pages of "L'Ora del caffè", a volume signed by Gianrico and Giorgia Carofiglio and defined as Manuale di conversazione per generazioni incompatibili.

Beyond the contents of the book, the reading of which in its entirety could in any case be useful to parents, uncles, grandparents, grandchildren and children who are aware of the question of keeping open a transversal channel of communication between Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z, it may not be entirely superfluous, even for the daily survival of the above-mentioned categories, to reflect on the best ways to deal with confrontations before they become clashes. In short, to meditate on the possibility of escaping from the stereotype of the 'young' who at best clams up and slams the door, strong in his granitic convictions, and the other - less young - who screams, entrenching himself in the walls of his wider life experience.


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To do this, Carofiglio suggests, we need to find out where different opinions come from, try to see things with a sideways glance before approaching them with different words. It is necessary to dredge up old arguments of conflict with a spirit of curiosity and experimentation, to temporarily suspend our opinions and thought patterns to try to really understand a theory or a key before evaluating it.

We leave the references to philosophers, analysts and scholars to the reading of the book, so as not to exaggerate with spoilers, or else Einaudi will get upset. But it may be useful to find out which are the seven topics on which the authors call for reasonableness and on which, in all evidence, the most heated family diatribes have focused.

1) Food. Understood not as the difficult choice between pasta and pizza or between first and second course. Rather as an ethical dilemma relating mainly to whether or not to eat meat, to being vegetarian, vegan or otherwise. To the relationship with the correct way of eating and the disorders associated with its crisis.

2) Anxiety. In this case, probably not much explanation is needed. Guilt and pain from misunderstanding are some of the manifestations or causes of this state of discomfort, which would require a more reasoned and secular approach, even in the choice of seeking help "from a good one".

3) Climate. It is too cold, it is too hot, there are no longer any half seasons. Up to this point we all more or less agree. But then we come to the divisive topics, such as climate change, the protection and adaptation of lifestyles, the right to consumption and the happiness they seem to guarantee.

4) Gender equality. Understood as the guarantee that, in time, we can arrive at a situation where "there will be mediocre women in important positions, everywhere". At first reading this may seem almost offensive, but the concept behind it turns out to be subtle and calls for a reasoned awareness that goes beyond the use of the masculine in plurals.

5) Sex. No, we are not talking about details and murky nocturnal practices. But of freedom of choice, of awareness of diversity, of accepting that certain stereotypes have probably had their day.

6) Work. Read as the presence and absence of employment, as the difficulty in finding the right one, as the possibility for the youngest to earn enough to guarantee a dignified and, heaven forbid, fulfilling existence.

7) Politics. Or perhaps even more its negation, its rejection. Its rejection by Millennials and Generation Z. The need for cold realism but also for dreams to be pursued: "so many things have happened because someone had the courage to shoot their mouth off, to think the unthinkable and to demand it".

All topics should be addressed without giving the impression of "trying to explain something obvious to a not-so-intelligent interlocutor".



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios