Monday, December 06, 2010

Intergenerational Thinking is the New Norm

Thinking within an intergenerational context is really becoming a conventional wisdom. This is supported by the Harris Interactive survey we recently commissioned, which revealed more than 80 percent of American adults want their leaders in Washington to fund policies that encourage connections between older and younger people. And as more and more families are living in multigenerational households, we as a nation are becoming far more intergenerational than we were only 20 years ago.

A recent story on multigenerational households in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette perfectly supports this idea. The article quoted Donna, and it also featured a new comic strip by cartoonist Ed Stein called “Freshly Squeezed.” The strip centers around a family forced to live under the same roof due to economic necessity. It is based on Stein’s experiences when his mother died and his then 80-year-old father decided to move in with him while he and his wife raised toddlers.

Comic strips are like TV shows and films in that they reflect the zeitgeist of our society. It is encouraging to see more mainstream treatment of multigenerational living depicted in the media. It only makes sense, because it is where we as a society now find ourselves. Let’s hope we see more soon.

Rich Robinson is the press secretary for Generations United. You can email him at

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