Point to Ponder: This wonderful song from 70s has a deep meaning message to ponder over the holidays and forever. Thanks to Louis Liang and John W. Simmons for mentioning this song while discussing Parent/Children generational issues.
Story Line: Source: https://www.lyricinterpretations.com/crosby-stills-nash-and-young/teach-your-children
The lyrics asks parents and children not to be judgmental of each other's lives. The "road" is life's journey which we must all go through during which we seek the truth of our existence which may never be found. That doesn't matter despite our struggles. What does matter is the joy of living and loving and letting both parent and child be who they are without trying to fix what is not broken. The lyrics are a Buddhist prescription for not being bound in suffering by not accepting the reality of existence and accepting people as they are and not what you would like them to be and having gratitude for the experience of being.
I have always loved this song (even though it's hard to put your own twist on their words) which is where their genius lies. Its about our journey, all of us, the one we each take and the degree to which we can stop putting labels and judging things as right or wrong, good or bad, that is the degree to which we can progress through our life to a point that is resolved simply into love and compassion. the labels change from generation to generation, the struggles and the feelings remain the same. we're all in it together and once we can reduce our judgements and differences to love and compassion we've made a successful trip and that's all any of us can hope for. Our souls expand with joy and light and we leave this passage in better shape than we arrived.
This song is a call for parents and children to try to understand that each generation goes through it's own kind of "hell" (growing pains/life issues) and that each should respect that and learn from each other. The genius of this song is in the first verse, "and so become yourself, because the past is just a good bye". You can't become your parents because their life was different from yours and once the past is gone it's gone for good. So, be true to yourself and "become yourself". I didn't even notice that verse until this year when I was examining my own past.
This song is a look at intergenerational issues in the whole 60s/70s time period. It says "teach your children well" because its telling parents to teach their children how they deal with life and the lessons they've learned from their own experiences ("their father's hell"). It says that sometimes intergenerational dialogue isn't easy: "Don't you ever ask them why/ if they told you you would cry/ so just look at them and sigh/ and know they love you..."
This is basically an appeal to both sides of the "generation gap" (the parents and children) to remember that even if they don't understand the other group's logic, reasoning, or motivation, just remember that they still love you deep down and try to just get along. and it's a beautiful song.