I found myself having a giggle the other day. I saw some advertising recently featuring a young man with a chiselled stomach made of steel; he was seducing the viewers with sassy looks reminiscent of Zoolander. His scant clothes weren’t worth the effort if they were intended to cover anything. I felt like yelling through the television, “Hey boy, in about 10 years that perky body of yours is going to droop like a balloon full of water.” He didn’t hear me… I thought my body was invincible too when I was young, I filled it with Nando’s Chicken and coffee and my shape never changed until I was 35. Now every bloody bite of nicety looks for permanent shelter under my dimpled skin.
I still feel nineteen inside but of course on reflection I can clearly see a life of 47 years of experience and some days I feel the weight of all 47. I work with a lot of young people and it is scary when I see my earlier self in their approach to life – fast, faster and fastest. I am going to be terribly predictable by saying this but life is getting faster with each generation isn’t it? What concerns me is the human capacity for ‘doing’ hasn’t changed but the expectation of demand has increased.
So many young people stare straight through a call to wisdom in exchange for excitement or advancement. I did exactly the same thing and I had the older generation at the time try and preach at me from the top of the same soapbox I am now standing on. Based on my deafness as a twenty something and its viral qualities on each new generation, we should agree that elderly wisdom is difficult to pass down and it may be a lost cause. Older people roll their eyes at youthful foolishness and younger people are sick to death of being lectured by the older mob.
So what now? Surely we aren’t stupid enough as a community to give up? What sense is there in repeating someone else’s mistakes if it can be avoided? I am honestly not sure what the answer is, but I have to believe that both generations are not past listening to each other. Maybe it is the discipline equivalent of eating your vegetables.
You! Young person who might be reading this blog, seriously… older people know stuff, yes they can be grumpy or seen as kill joys but you are making a mistake if you ignore what pearls of wisdom come your way. Ambition is evil when it is devoid of wisdom. Ambition treats others like fodder for its gluttonous appetite and the only way to tame the giant that lives inside you is to listen to people worth listening to, so go and find someone older that you respect and focus!
As for you older mouldy mob, you have to stop being the military dressed in cardigans and long socks. You are not meant to force your opinions on younger people and demand subservient mules. The only chance you will have of being taken seriously is if you have earned the respect of the younger ones. I don’t blame younger people for expecting this. If you want to impress a view to a generation, you have to be impressive. Being old is not a licence to rule and being grumpy is a turn off.
Phew, now that I have that off my chest, where is that block of chocolate?