Hi there. It's been a while.
I like to ask awkward , on-the-spot questions to people I've only just met .
I think I got this from my dad .
When I was younger , he would take me out to dinner , and would look at me with this intense look , and ask;
"So Anna, if there was one thing you could do to change the world , what would it be?"
And I would pause , and then reply;
"How would I know , I'm only six?"
But I have found this is actually not the norm in my generation . So many young people have incredible ideas , and dreams of what they want to achieve in their life time , but too often are stamped down by people saying;
"How DARE you be Young and Inexperienced!"
I am lucky enough to have attended the TED conference , and one year while I was there , a woman came up to me and asked "What are you doing here? You're like TWELVE!"... ( I was 18 at the time , and just becoming youthfully idealistic ) . I was slightly shocked at being so rudely spoken to , and so instead of thinking of a sassy retort ( that we always think of afterwards! ) I muttered something apologetically , and shuffled off .
But this has stuck with me . It's this attitude that society has; that teenagers and young adults are a loud , drunk , obnoxious nuisance , ( some are, don't get me wrong) that have nothing interesting to say because their brains are only unformed mush , and really... how much life experience could they have? So when a young person does pipe up with a new idea , they survey the view of doubting , and slightly amused faces , then excuse themselves , brush off their idea and apologise for disturbing the peace .
Due to this mis-trust , this brushing off , we have seen a rise of cynicism from our generation;
"what's the point of even trying?"
I'm guessing that this whole mis-trust of the young and inexperienced isn't going to end any time soon . No doubt , we will be the same when we're older and more cynical . But that doesn't mean we have to endure it now.
We , the young adults of the world , are a huge and mainly untapped source of productivity , optimism , passion , and new ideas .
The young adult is blessed with energy and idealism . She has enough experience of life to find passion in something , but not enough to feel her spirit crushed by failure. So now is the time to try out our big ideas . Who cares if we're young and inexperienced? The way we gain experience is to go out and try .
One of my favorite TED talks is by Brene Brown on the topic of Shame . She says that shame is 'an epidemic in our culture'. My favorite part is where she says this:
'I know it's seductive to stand outside the arena… and think to myself, "I'm gonna go in there and kick some ass - when I'm bullet proof, and when I'm perfect", but the truth is, that never happens.'
So true .
So I don't know about you guys , but I'm not gonna wait until I'm bullet proof , or old , or perfect . I'm gonna try and do something cool now . So what if I fail? I learn , get stronger , and know to do better next time . If we all wait until we're old and 'qualified' to do something , well... we're not gonna get very far .
So please don't listen to the apathetic , or the cynical , or the pessimistic , or the patronising , or the people who blame you for being 'twelve'... Now is the time to become who you want to be , and to start achieving what you want to achieve .
Don't wait ok?