It is great to have friends of various ages rather than just those who are around your own age. Sometimes the age difference can be a benefit. At other times you will not even be aware of the difference.
When I was in my late teens, the mother of one of my uni classmates became my good friend. There was an age gap of over thirty years. Sometimes I benefitted from her life experience. I still have the letter she wrote me soon before my first baby was born. It was full of wisdom concerning child birth and motherhood.
Over the years she gave me helpful advice on mothering. She was a role model for me. I admired the way she decided in her late fifties to start teaching craft classes after devoting the previous thirty years to being a mother and grandmother.
At times we were not aware of the age difference. We enjoyed many of the same interests. Often we exchanged recipes. We discussed craft ideas. Sometimes we would meet for lunch. People of all ages have to eat.
In my adult years many of my closest friends have been at least ten years older. It is only now and then when talking about childhood experiences and such that I remember the age difference. Mostly ten or so years is nothing.
Now that I am middle aged I find some of my friends are at least ten years younger
than me. Whereas a ten year age gap made a lot of difference when I was in my early twenties, it is insignificant now.
When I started teaching at the age of twenty one, some of my pupils were ten or eleven. I was the adult and they were children. The thought has struck me that some of my current friends who are about ten years younger could have been my students had they lived near my first school.
When I went back to study as a middle aged student I enjoyed conversing with some of those who were in their late teens or early twenties. Some of them seemed very wise for their young years. I certainly appreciated their skills when it came to using computers.
Spending time with people who are much younger helps me keep up to date. It gives me a fresh outlook and I hope I am able to impart a different point of view which is of benefit to them.
Sometimes I think about the differences in the way I was brought up and the upbringing of people who are now in their twenties or thirties. Older people can be critical of the younger generations but we have to remember they were children in a different era.
Also our generation were responsible for some of the beliefs they were brought up with. If they are not as self reliant, is it because my generation over protected them at times? It could be with the best of intentions. It could have been in response to society’s belief that children were too young to be left at home alone. It may have been because it was believed children should be offered numerous extra curricular activities rather than doing a list of chores.
In general it is interesting to mix with people who are different in some way whether that be age, culture, gender, ability/disability, upbringing or any other consideration. It is important to treat everyone with respect. Variety makes life interesting and helps us see life from different perspectives.