At some point, if luck is on your side, you will get old and hopefully gain wisdom. What happens when you become an authority figure and you are tasked with offering guidance to youths? What do you tell them?
Do the right thing? Plenty of people routinely do wrong, sometimes evil things, and get rewarded for it. Do what you’re passionate about? Not everyone is so lucky to make their life’s passion work for them. No amount of self-help, confidence, or brazen attempts at sticking one’s neck out will change that reality.
So, then what? Are the irreversible truths too much to bare for people who are too young to be able to truly decide their futures? Drugs aren’t always bad, sometimes the bad guys win, and doing “the right thing” can easily be misconstrued and manipulated.
Maybe the real question at the heart of this rambling is: What truths should we impart to the young and which lies are worth keeping around? And what are the concepts that kids can learn without guidance? Growing up is confusing enough when you aren’t wondering how full of shit your parents are.
With complete certainty, I think most people can agree that there is no secret to life. Working hard works sometimes, sometimes it doesn’t. Talent is important, yet its importance as a prerequisite for success is debatable. So at the end of all of these questions, there are only more questions. Maybe this is why new parents are always terrified.
After all this rambling, I can only think of one thing that I would definitely tell younger people, my kids, or whoever needs guidance through youth. Enjoy it. Youth, unfortunately, doesn’t last forever. You can’t ever go back to being a little rosy-cheeked, blob of irresponsibility. And at some point, that irresponsibility isn’t fun, or cute anymore. Enjoying your time and waiting for the clock to wind down is as good a plan as anyone’s got really.