Can Boomers and Millennials find their “Middle Ground?”

“Middle Ground” is an illuminating series of short discussions between groups of people who often don’t see eye-to-eye: vegans and meat-eaters, atheists and Christians, dropouts and graduates, and veterans and peace activists, to name a few.

In these videos, the groups are asked to respond to several challenging beliefs and statements.  These statements are meant to give each group the opportunity to calmly and respectfully explain to the other side why they feel the way they do.  In turn, the other side can give their rebuttal, speaking from personal experiences their “opponents” may not have or understand.

In the end, each side gains a clearer understanding of the issue and the people who hold beliefs they don’t share.  And in some cases, they may even find they have more in common in their way of thinking than they thought before.

This episode brings together two groups that spar on every platform about nearly everything: Baby Boomers and Millennials.  And though head-butting between seniors and young people is nothing new, the rise of social media, comment threads, and online forums has brought these two generations together in a way that highlights the intergenerational clash perhaps more than ever before.

These two groups go head-to-head every day online on every issue imaginable.  They are able to follow and critique each other’s behavior, opinions, interests, and the way they curate their lifestyle via platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  And unfortunately, it can lead to generalization, judgment, and a failure to see the wider context of how another generation experiences the world.

But in this room, Boomers and Millennials are asked to respond face-to-face on a series of statements we hear constantly in the Great Generation Debate.  Do you think Millennials don’t work as hard as Boomers? Do you think Boomers had it easier than Millennials do?  Why do you think that?  And what does the other side have to say about your thoughts?

While a few people having a civil conversation about some tough—and often hostile—issues aren’t going to change the way we communicate as a whole, it’s an encouraging glimpse into what’s possible when we make a point to hear each other out.

No fighting. No insults.  Nothing but a genuine desire to understand–and a surprising amount of empathy and agreement between us.