Both young and old like to express opinions. Phrases like, ‘back in the day…’, ‘we never had…’ and ‘when I grow up, I want to…’ seem to crop up regularly. I often think about who says these things, who is listening, and what they hear.

PHOTOS TEZ MERCER

OVER THE LAST YEAR, I’VE LOVED READING THE SERIESHOW IT WASIN UNO., and learn­ing what life was like in the Bay and around New Zealand a while back. I know that many peo­ple, myself includ­ed, often just brush over and for­get that our old­er gen­er­a­tions have led some amaz­ing and inter­est­ing lives. We over­look that old peo­ple were once like us mil­len­ni­als. They fol­lowed the lat­est trends (some dude rant­i­ng about his blue suede shoes, appar­ent­ly?!) and made trou­ble like typ­i­cal teenagers.

MMMMAVOCADO ON TOAST 1:3 toast to avo ratio, squeeze of lemon, salt + pep­per. YUM!

THE BABY BOOMERS GREW UP POST-WORLD WAR II, IN A TIME OF HARDSHIP, RATIONING, AND RAPID MODERNISATION. Whilst they start­ed o in tough times, their hard work saw New Zealand pros­per as a nation. They helped the coun­try nd its foot­ing on the world stage and some­how raised 70 mil­lion sheep in the process. On the oth­er side of this divide are us young ones. We’ve grown up hav­ing our world shaped by the inter­net, events like 9/11, and an unhealthy obses­sion with lat­tes and smashed avo­cado on toast. One day, Mil­len­ni­als will move to the far side of the divide and have anoth­er gen­er­a­tion labelling us as the oldies. I might even have a grand­son who has to help me with my self- dri­ving car!

TEENS AND OLD PEOPLE STRUGGLE TO RELATE TO ONE ANOTHER. I HONESTLY FIND IT QUITE HARD TO CONVINCE MYSELF THAT OLD PEOPLE WERE ONCE MY AGE. I don’t think it will ever change because grow­ing up in anoth­er gen­er­a­tion is com­plete­ly di erent from the last one. My grand­ma telling me about peo­ple rationing but­ter is just as hard for me to com­pre­hend as how Net­flix works for her.

HOWEVER WE DO SHARE SOME COMMON GROUND: we both know what it’s like to be mis­un­der­stood, and our opin­ions dis­missed.

NOW THIS WOULDN’T BE A LOUIS DONOVAN COLUMN IF IT WASN’T GIVEN A SPRINKLING OF POLITICS! Young peo­ple are dra­mat­i­cal­ly under­rep­re­sent­ed in coun­cils around New Zealand and in par­lia­ment, while old­er peo­ple are, with­out a doubt, over­rep­re­sent­ed. Should this change? And how can we do that? Polit­i­cal par­ties across the spec­trum need to be tal­ent-spot­ting younger can­di­dates who can bring a di erent side of the sto­ry. They mightn’t have had the expe­ri­ence some feel is required, but there are plen­ty of young peo­ple who have done and seen twice as much as some of our cur­rent sea­soned-career MPs. I believe that younger peo­ple will start to become inter­est­ed in pol­i­tics if the age divide in par­lia­ment is resolved. If polit­i­cal par­ties bring more young peo­ple in, more young peo­ple are like­ly to vote, and take an inter­est in our country’s future. That’ll be good for all of us.

IN THE WORDS OF LUIS BUNUEL: “Age is some­thing that doesn’t mat­ter, unless you’re cheese.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? It doesn’t mat­ter how old you are, I am always up for debate and chat on Face­book @louisdonovanmmc.

Insta­gram: @louis.donovan

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