Human beings develop from tiny elements into a full human being. During these developmental stages, they experience various life challenges. Some of the challenges are psychological, cultural, and emotional challenges. The two people I have in mind are Luke and his grandfather, Elly. Each of them represents a different generation. Luke is a successful young man. He is educated and works with an international organization. He is married to Lavender, who is of a different tribe and is a lawyer. Both of them work and provide for their two children. On the other hand, Elly is an old man who is comparatively poor.
Elly is married to Margaret and they are blessed with twelve children. He is one of the village elders who are consulted on issues pertaining land marriage and inheritance. His wife is a house wife who works mainly in the farm. She also practices traditional medicine and helps women during delivery. Analysis of the two people gives impression that Elly and Luke developed in two different settings. First, their lifestyles differ in a number of ways. Belsky, in her book summarizes the challenges as, gender, socioeconomic status, culture, and historical events. Basing my argument on cultural changes, each community has its own culture that directly or indirectly influences the development of an individual. Different generations grew and developed under different cultures. For example, the old general ( Elly ) grew under strict culture. In the past, there was no hospital based care for the old folks. Traditional medicare provided the basis for life longevity for the aged.
The community dictated marriage rather the parties involved. Time for marriage was clearly defined by the society. One had to develop through this culture which limited their decision to choice of a life partner. The old generation also lacked formal learning environment and mainly depended on traditional teaching. Although the informal learning was helpful by then, it lacked exposure and therefore community oriented.
On the other hand, the current youth represented by Luke, live a more independent life. They do not depend on their parents on a number of issues. For example, during marriage, they have the right to choose their marriage partners, as opposed to the old generation. On the academic field, there is less restriction as to whom they associate with and where they spend their time. There is freedom of choice when it comes to marriage partner.
Gender is another key challenge in human development. Belsky puts it clear that the when an individual’s social and physical development is controlled by the society, it makes such an individual grow as the society puts him. The old generation had designated duty for girls and boys. Men and boys provided most of the family labor and made decisions on behalf of the family.
Women and children were managed and directed on what to do. Inheritance of property was dictated by men. This made boys develop into a bully society that never respected the rights of women. Participation in decision making at both local and national level has not given women a full or equal representation. Gender discrimination was a challenge since the society never gave girls equal treatment as boys. Girls were treated as inferior to boys. As girls developed, they also knew that boys were more important than them. For example, Elly’s wife takes orders from him without question while Luke’s wife thinks independently and makes her own decision.
When I relate life challenges to socioeconomic factors in relation to the old and the young generation, there are various changes that have taken place. For example, the social setting in the old generation was a bit selective in terms of gender, culture and race. Currently, the social setting incorporates both gender and all races. Economically, the demand for resources has increased with the growing population. This means that people out-number the available resources therefore, there is competition. Traditionally, ownership of property was communal and people shared property. However, this has changed and children have to grow up knowing that it is their hard work that can propel them economically.
In conclusion, human development has changed greatly with changes in the cultural, socioeconomic and political structures. For example, the youth depended on their folks in decision making.
Unlike in the past, nowadays the youth have the freedom to choose what is best for them. In fact, the youth are protected from oppressive traditional cultural practices. The youth are more exposed to various life aspects and they tend to be more innovative.
Belsky., J. (2010.). Experiencing the lifespan (2nd ed.) . New York.: Worth Publishing.