June marks the celebration of Youth Day on 16 June. It is youth month and for me this has been a particularly reflective one this year.
Perhaps because the concept of youth and who classifies as “youth” is really a matter of perception. In many instances (from a tax incentive and employment incentive perspective) perhaps it is under 25’s whilst other circles say under 35’s. Then of course there is the school of thought (very much tongue- in- cheek) – that age is just a number.
I am a firm supporter that youth or being classified as part of the group, is not related to age but is directly correlated to a state of mind. Not only in the context of having lots of energy or being open to change or learning new things or skills, but about lessons and the process of evolving into where you are now to where you are going. With that being said, in my view every new season in life or business, propels us all back to that place of youth and perhaps to unchartered territories. As we get older and particularly after taking stock of our experiences, we are better equipped to navigate even unchartered territories.
So, whether it be a new business venture, career change or even a baby or another baby – it is all about leveraging experiences in other situations to navigate the journey in perhaps a less stressful or painful way. The minute we become conscious of the fact that many situations in life may result in us feeling the same way as any of those first days’ milestone moments in life, we need to reflect on past experiences before embarking on the new.
Perhaps because of a conscious mind shift – we could ignite a deeper sense of empathy and through that perhaps guide the inexperienced youth in a better way. If we do this not only are we more conscious of our own experiences and journey but also contribute constructively to the next generation. Perhaps this youth month we should be aware of our own experiences, how these are valuable not only to our own journeys but to those around us.
As legal professionals we are often privy to all sorts of things that go wrong in life. I therefore believe that our responsibility is a larger one to not only reflect but share. This is important for the continued success of business and entrepreneurs and should be more focussed on.