Do you remember when you were extremely young and you wanted to accomplish a mission or project? I recall a very traumatic experience when my little pedal-car got stuck in a mud hole. I couldn’t go forward nor go back. I did not want to leave the miniature vehicle because that would sully my shoes: even at an early age, my parents had instilled me with the concept that clean shoes constituted a gentleman. I was forced to maneuver the car backwards and forwards. Finally, it broke free and I was propelled across the gravel driveway, almost hitting a tree. I had learned Newton’s Third Law of Motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. (1) I was lucky that I didn’t experience the real result of the axiom
You may ask yourself. “How am I actually going to get my message out into the world?” This is a very interesting and clever question. First and foremost, you are going to have to be “just a touch brave.” To paraphrase Osho: “There are no heroes and no cowards: there is only action.” (1) Public speaking is not a natural process for most people. You will become nervous: your palms will perspire and your heart rate will increase. You must accept this as natural. There are many techniques that you can use to calm yourself. Mindfulness, (2) for example, is an excellent meditation technique. At the onset, it is imperative that you unflinchingly believe in “your message,” (I want to save the world, for example): this is paramount. Then you are able to proceed. There are several “tried and true” methodologies that will greatly assist you as you build your communication skills. Firstly your discourse must be rational: it must be predicated on a thesis or idea (A); it must hold an interesting and articulate main body (B+C+D) and possess a succinct and clever conclusion that ties back to the original thesis (A).
Age is an extremely interesting phenomenon. Like so much of history, you can talk about it, visit its sites of trauma and battles, but never truly experience it: you just weren’t there. So it is with time. You can hear its descriptions and attempt to create its images, but this is mostly nonsensical until you live through it. When I was young, the aged were distant and surreal. They appeared oddly out of place in a world filled with beautiful things. This included my grandparents.
I often feel like a curmudgeon. Whenever I speak of my life experiences, they sound like tales from centuries past, nonsensical, detached and lacking in joy. That being said, all times are linked by our collective history in this capital-driven society. Thus relating the former has relevance in the present. The hackneyed phrase of my generation was, “When I was young …” and you fill in the blanks. My favorite being “We had to walk five kilometers to school in two meters of snow.” What are the collective thoughts of this current cohort?
This morning, there was an announcement on the radio of some government department seeking over 1,500 people to fill positions that were being vacated by retiring workers. It all sounded very good: safety in perpetuity. In this economy, as with every past economy, young people have always been encouraged to “play it safe – no risks!” The great difficulty faced by all is that we live in a “world of pictures” that fills us with the intrinsic want for adventure: fantastical computer games only reinforce this. You can take that mind-numbing job, but for how long and at what risk to your psyche? I was speaking with a young man recently about his future and what it would entail. We discussed what he liked and he then presented a true cornucopia of ideas and possibilities. Would this clever and intuitive mind be well served by a repetitive and monotonous position, no matter how well paid with its attendant benefits?