Youth is wasted on the young! Or is it really?

“With age comes wisdom,” declared Oscar Wilde. “But sometimes age comes alone.” On the face of it we can’t honestly disagree with such, well, WISE words! 

If you put a middle aged person in the same situation as a teenager (let’s say eighteen year-old), it is quite reasonable to expect, even ahead of time, that the older person will respond in a manner that is superior (calmer, more reasoned, more appropriate for the situation) to the younger person’s response.

Years of learning would certainly have a significant impact. Past experiences, which provide the opportunities for learning, would prove to be invaluable!

But nobody is born mature, or old. Nobody is born with such advanced capacity for making equally wise decisions. All of us, to different degrees, will have done things in our youth which we can consider to be poor judgement. That is a reasonable conclusion! 

Some of us did things that have led to grave outcomes and consequences! These will always be part of our story…and yes – they do define us, and who we become, for better or worse! 

Sometimes we look back with regret at decisions we made – actions we took or opportunities missed. We look at who we have become and either feel we have come ‘a long way’ or, perhaps, that we have missed our way towards fulfilling our dreams. 

While such self-assessment is helpful in determining our next steps, they also serve as important reminders:

  • Appreciate your younger self
  • Do not deride, nor neglect, youth who make mistakes
  • Be willing to offer guidance to all who you feel would benefit, and who are willing to receive it
  • Recognize that everything you know today comes from lessons learned, some of which were learned based on experiences you had when you were young
  • Keep learning

Youth is not ‘wasted’ on the young. Being young simply means someone has the opportunity to grow and is in the process of ‘becoming’ who they will ultimately turn out to be. 

Youth is in itself a right that should be shared by everyone.


Life = Mistakes

Are you being too hard on yourself because of mistakes you have made?

If you are going to be defined by your mistakes, let it be to the extent that you have learned the valuable lessons from them, discarded the rest, and are now better off because of them.

O. N. Rowe

At birth we are a blank slate, with our only ‘experience’ being a total reliance on our Mother while in the womb. We learn to rely on our Mom for nourishment, and develop trust.

As we grow older we learn based on our experiences and our observations of the world around us. Some of our experiences teach us what works or doesn’t work, what causes pleasure or pain, what helps us to grow or what keeps us back. Through it all, we make mistakes – sometimes lots. The lessons we learn help to inform how we behave when facing similar situations in future. When we make mistakes, the experience helps us to change our behaviour.

Unfortunately we are sometimes our worst critic, and a mistake is blown up far greater than it deserves. When that happens we become paralyzed by the fear of repeating our mistake. The old adage ‘once bitten, twice shy’ captures the psychological struggle we generally engage in after some of our mistakes. On one hand, experience can help to assure future successes; on the other hand, a mistake can shatter our confidence.

It might be that others around us also compound this by always seeking to ‘rub in’ our mistakes, instead of providing encouragement to get up on the horse again and to continue fighting. Don’t let the nay-sayers thwart your enthusiasm, nor keep you from trying again.

Regardless of how we respond to our mistakes, we are better off when we see them for what they really are: experience. When we do that, the lessons learned can be of such value that we will recognize that a mistake can be a terrible thing to waste.

What’s the biggest mistake you have ever made? What is the biggest lesson that you learned from a past experience? If answered truthfully, you might just find that they are related.

When put into their rightful place, mistakes serve as important sources of learning.
new beginning perseverance


A new dawn has broken and the sun is out
And it is shining in all its glory
Signaling a new day as we set about
Starting yet another year’s journey

We might not be pleased with our efforts yesterday
But we now have a glorious opportunity
To think about what we can improve on today
And to pursue it with all our energy

We should not seek to live it selfishly
No that would be quite a shame!
Consider how much farther we all can reach
When we help each other do the same

There’s no limit to what you can accomplish
When you pursue it with all your being
Never give up though your energy diminish
The rewards will ultimately be seen

Sometimes you fail miserably in the struggle
And you despair when things fall apart
But just lift up your head and resume the battle
It’s a new day, God is giving you a fresh start!

So keep on fighting no matter what comes
And don’t despair because of past mistakes
They provide the best opportunities to grow
Yes – mistakes are a terrible thing to waste!

Just as the new day dawns, let your enthusiasm be renewed daily. Seize the day!