Today I met an inspiring young man, all of 18 years old. He carried himself with grace and humility. He was wise beyond his years.
He has recently returned to his home country after being away for 2 years. Can you imagine? Being 16, leaving your own country, going to school in a place where your own language is not used. Could you handle it? Would I have been able to? I don’t know. I know I was too wrapped up in my own seemingly meaningless youth at that point in my life to care about personal growth and challenges. Hell, it took me up until a couple of years ago to realize the way I did shit wasn’t really cutting it on the development front.
But the guy I met today has that going for him already. It kind of restored my faith in the youth of today. Because I know how sidetracked and carefree we can be as teenagers. And this is Japan. I know some shit happens here, but the kind of stuff I was doing as high school student in Canada was probably worse. So I am aware of how messed up youth can be. And not having family to help out and set you straight can be devastating.
It was just refreshing to meet a young dude with tons of potential and ambition. But maybe I’m wrong and there lots of those types out there already. I just hope my own son will listen to reason, have a supportive network and seek out opportunities. I waited too long to do that myself. I wouldn’t consider myself a failure by any stretch of the imagination, but I certainly wasted a lot of time doing nothing. Knowing now how quickly time passes, I would give advice to youth -if they were to listen-to not waste time playing video games, hanging out in arcades (does those still exist?), stealing shit, doing drugs, getting wasted, fighting, etc…..all that dumb shit.
I definitely traveled alot when I was younger. I would always say travel when you can. I learned so much about myself that way. Now, travel takes on a more relaxed and comfortable tone. It’s less about challenging myself and more about pampering. But when you’re young, there’s not much pampering, and that’s a good thing. We need challenges to grow.
Again, back to the young lad I met today. He is ready to take on the world it seems. He is up for a challenge. I respect that.
Made me feel good about the possible state of the world after my own kid(s?) grow up. Cuz I know I haven’t done much to help it out. Faith now lies in the spirited and dedicated youth of today.