Dear Young Person,
You will hear older humans tell you that life is short, to not wish time away, to learn from experience and you may smile and nod politely, you may secretly wonder what they know of youth.
And you may be right because 'youth' evolves with each passing generation; the rites of passage for the in-crowds morph with ever increasing demands to be in the right clothes, like the right music, share the right images. We, the elders, may roll our collective eye heavenwards, kiss our teeth and shake our heads at that which passes for stress, when the knowledge of paying bills and face the daily grind has yet to be experienced; but we empathise, sympathise and should not trivialise your current strife.
I urge you to look around you; look up to see the buildings that that have spanned decades and although remodelled, still survive - like us; look forwards and see the joy, sadness, plight and successes of people you pass in the street - you might find a friend, a lover, a business partner, an inspiration in real life; look left and right because, yes, life really is too short and sometimes it gets taken away from us when we're not looking.
Touch lives. In some way. In some positive way. Take a risk and say hello to the person who seems different to you, who seems to be just like you. Be safe, of course, but discover the life of a someone who treads a different path to you. Religion, politics, age, music, fashion, education, confidence levels, abilities, interests - you know what you like, but maybe you don't yet know what you could like. It's a two-way street and you have so much to teach other people too.
Learn to cook. It's always great to receive manna from the gods on delivery bikes. But when you can conjure up a bowl of deliciousness from the paltry left overs in the pantry then a winner you be. Follow a recipe, don't follow a recipe, get a big pan and chuck in some edible stuff and party on with the right spices and herbs. Perfect a dessert you can make with your eyes shut. And then get a big spoon and enjoy. On your own or with friends. It's your kitchen, you choose.
Be clean. In all areas. Smell nice.
Listen. Hear. Listen. To your friends. To your enemies. To your elders. To the youngers, because, hopefully, you will age one day. Learn how to interpret subtext in someone's voice and fight your fights face-to-face. Allow music to swallow you whole and swim in its melodious belly. Find the songs that you can cry to, dance to, rage to, love to - they're out there, trust me. Listen to the words of those who have come before you so their lessons do not go unlearned. Listen to yourself. Trust yourself.
You are in charge now, young person. We are here with helping hands but this is your journey.
Go be you and do what you do.
This post is in response to a #post40bloggers #writingprompt no120: Dear Young Person