5 bits of advice for my son who is living through more than a pandemic!

I was thinking about my next facetime call with my son back in Scotland. He is almost eighteen years old and living through a pandemic that has brought havoc to this schooling, his friendships and his life.

It has been a tough year for everyone and some more than others. For the youth of today… it has been exceptionally tough.

But I would say I am proud of how he has coped and kept himself relatively busy. I have every faith in the young people coming through because I think they will deliver some real change for the world in time.

I was reflecting on what I would be like when I was eighteen. What I was doing with my life back then and how it would have been changed if there was such a pandemic. 

If you think back and put this context on top of it, it brings home how bad things are for the youth. They do have it bad. We had it great. 

Yet, we probably still complain about it.

I will never complain about it again. We had a great time growing up in the ’80s and the ’90s. We had exceptional music, a significant change in atmosphere with the house music, party people scene, great television and entertainment and politics seemed more settled. 

Now think of the present with the above themes in your mind. 

We are making a f*ck up of it, and the next generation will have to sort it out. I honestly believe that they will fix it for the better. We will have to let them do it, but we will have to support them and educate them better than the way we were.

I do mean education, but I also mean more than formal education. Formal education is essential, and it is undoubtedly getting damaged with the current situation, but the next generation will need more than that when things get back up and running.

“I don’t like single-issue people, nor do I think that people who turn the world into black and white are very nice or ultimately very useful. The fact is, there aren’t just two sides to any issue, there’s almost always a range of responses, and ‘it depends’ is almost always the right answer in any big question.”

Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel.

We need to allow them to be free, give them footing on the full stage. If we don’t, they will be coming pitchforks in hand looking for the people who screwed up their future. From Brexit, student debt, and rising living costs against a totally sh*t experience… damn right, there will be an uprising.

Who would you blame if that did happen?

This question doesn’t even beg to answer because we will blame them. 

“How f*cking dare they.” – we will say.

“How f*cking dare WE.” – I will say.

I am preparing myself for the call with my son, and I will be guiding him on the following.

  • Get interested in what is going on a shape things for the greater good. Embrace empathy, get an informed opinion and fight for the rights of everyone.
  • Study and research to find enough truths to enable clear thoughts that can steer you away from the manipulators and propaganda. Social media is not real life. Look up more than once in a while.
  • Understand the importance of money, start to save it early in life and protect yourself from financial harm. When you get older, the social safety nets my be in fragments, so prepare for that like you would a zombie apocalypse.
  • Learn not to care what people say. Learn to ‘not give a flying f*ck to what some people might say’ but ignore respectfully. Be stoic in your approach and know that everyone will have an opinion but very few matters. 
  • Start more things. People don’t start enough, and when they do, they stop. Don’t stop. Learn to keep going but adjust your sails. Starting and doing is how you will learn the most. Talk is just that, Talk.

Five bit of advice that I hope he listens too. I know he will make up his mind and work out his version of his world events. 

When he does, he will have something to say about it. Like his friends and the rest of the generation, he will have something to DO ABOUT IT.

We better be supportive and step out of their way. 

Because they will be coming wither, we like it or not.

Preferably with empty hands.


My Story about moving to Beijing

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