Written by Erwin Oliva
When do you say you’re no longer young?
When you feel half of the people in a room are half you’re age. When you suddenly realize you could no longer jump as high as when you were playing volleyball in College. When you realize you’re choice of color is becoming monotonous. When people show you a puzzled look after telling them your favorite rock songs. It is when you’re brother calls “Metallica,” and “Guns N’ Roses” classics! It is when everybody calls you “Kuya” or worse, “Sir!” [I can tolerate that if I'm inside a classroom].
It is when at parties, you’d rather spend a quiet time with a few people than dance the night away cause you’re afraid your moves would scare everybody and your knees would fail you.
But as you grow older, you want to believe that you’re still young–although your body would say otherwise. Also, you could not avoid telling yourself, “Yeah, the mistakes of youth!”
Admittedly, youth has often been maligned, blamed for its immaturity, its mediocrity. The London riot, for instance, has been pinned on the “young” who looted electronic stores in defiance of authority.
You often see today’s youth’s carefree attitude. However, we were once and will always be young [at heart]. This is not about the physical looks or the surgical stopgaps many “older people” have resorted to cut the limping skin. I’m talking about our attitude in life — our outlook that matters.
I’m told that journalists will forever be journalists. They would look at the world with fresh eyes — a skill developed amid tendencies of becoming jaded. I have never stopped looking at the world from the youth’s eyes. I often find life — no matter how humdrum it is to many — interesting. Curiosity leads to discovery. But with the wealth of wisdom, curiosity leads to new knowledge, which eventually turns into wisdom.
Today, I’m teaching on the side. This is my way of keeping my mind fresh and young. The spring of youth will always flow from ideas emanating from the young who will always find creative ways to express themselves –in music, art, literature and journalism. The word teach, however, is not exactly the term I would use these days. It’s more about providing them a map and you let them discover ideas, solutions on their own. I have never been fond of spoon-feeding. I want my students to make mistakes and learn from it. That’s how I ended up here–where I am writing for this blog that is meant for the young [at heart].
Writing will forever make you young and fresh. That’s the beauty of written words. They don’t rut. They live forever. With technology, they are cached, etched in magnetic hard disks. Hopefully, or at least when space travel is a norm, the future generation will stumble upon this blog and say, “Hmmmm, those ancient guys know how we feel.”
There is no generation gap. But there is a big difference in mindset. Carpe Diem!