I had a long and intense discussion with a 13 year old today….and came out impressed, with what our youth today represent. The young woman, and I call her that with intent, had strong views, was willing to argue and defend them, and was not intimidated by questions around them. If there was a rebellious streak, it was only to not be shaken in her beliefs. We need this youth, because they are the future which can change our present. And if the present is a repetition of our past, it is only because I or you, were not like these teenagers. We were too willing to accept everything told to us.
In this conversation, there were some key messages I tried to convey, which I am sharing with you. I think they are relevant to other teenage kids, and also to me and you:
1. Being an adult is about accepting that we will have to do things that we dont always like
2. We are making decisions everyday in our life, some big and some small. Find time to reflect back on these decisions and learn from them
3. We have to be making mistakes in our decision making. Identify those mistakes and learn from them. If you can’t find any mistakes, it only means that you aren’t taking decisions or you are not reflecting on them enough
4. If you want the freedom and independence of an adult, you have to learn to bear the cost and consequences of being an adult.
5. You need to ask yourself constantly….” when was the last time you did something for the first time”….and if you can’t remember, you need to go out and seek new experiences.
6. Learn to present your thoughts and arguments in written form. Most battles will not be won by arguing verbally, but by the written word. And learn to do this with precision, and with brevity.
7. Reach out and talk to people to understand other’s points of view, and to learn. Listen to know more, and not to argue your own point better. Have an opinion, but don’t let it limit your ability to listen