I have been trying to support some of Useful and Kind Unlimited’s cohort of young people (18-25) through these times of enormous uncertainty, challenge and frustration, and so in the last few weeks I have asked myself the same question I always ask my clients, namely to reflect on their 18 year-old selves and remember what they were like then.
When I remember back to being 18, just before going to university, where I met Mark Loftus, I had no real sense of the world, thought I was going to conduct the Last Night of the Proms before I was 30, and make music, all music, available to everyone. In other words, believing I could change the world. I had no idea where it would actually lead and as I look back I am really proud of the way I have adapted to challenges and opportunities, not all of them welcome at the time.
Yet I now reflect on the white privilege I enjoyed and how my generation have failed to change the world enough, so I wonder who I am to advise and support young people who will be faced with far greater challenges than I was.
In a sense lockdown is a pause, a reset, a preparation for what is to come next, for responsibility, action, compassion, tenderness and grace. We are all effectively 18 again, not knowing what is coming and doing all we can to be #Usefulandkind to ourselves, others and the world. So, I cannot plan, I can only go forward in good faith that I can help others to be the best they can be, drawing again on the same resilience and creativity that I had when I was 18.
Snippet, Reflect, Fix
Appetite is about having a strong inner conviction of the value of progressing some cause or goal and a desire to play a key part in bringing the goal to life.
Take a pause today, imagine your 18-year-old self sitting in front of you: picture how they are dressed and their energy. Then become them and look at your current self. What are they proud of you for? Finally, come back to your current self, thank them and offer them some advice – something from your hard-won experience.
Now listen to the advice you just gave your younger self – it will likely be good advice for you to take to heart right now!