What would you write in a letter to your 20-year-old self? Perhaps you would caution against a pitfall; advise yourself to spend more time with some people or less with others; take better care of your body or your health; study more or study less; risk more or risk less; or simply to keep an eye on this Bitcoin thing circa 2009….  

Or perhaps you would tell your younger self to follow their own instincts, make up their own mind, take whichever decision they considered the best and see how it played out. After all, life is lived forward and is full of variables you cannot perceive, let alone control.

This is, of course, an impossibility, a mere exercise of the imagination. But, for many of us at least, at a certain stage in life, Nature’s sleight of hand presents us with children. Then, there we are, truly in the position to pass on our acquired knowledge, and hopefully, some wisdom as well, not to our former selves but to our poor offspring who are innocently unaware of what awaits them.

It can be easy to forget that our children are not an extension of ourselves. They are their own beings, pursuing their own paths, making their own mistakes, and building their own destinies. Parts of those paths might be similar to our own—our children carry our genes and have shared in many of our experiences after all. 

Parents have a primordial role in rearing their children, and that is a feat. Children are even more highly suggestible than adults. They are particularly sensitive to their experiences, entourage, associations, and role models. 

In our society, it’s not uncommon for parents to be consumed with work, worries, commitments, socialisation and whatnot, only to suddenly realise that their children have begun asserting their own individuality. An individuality that is sometimes so distinct from their own, that they miss the beauty of it. Perhaps the parents delegated much of their role to professional staff, from teachers to nannies, of whom they do not have more than a sparse knowledge and who can access a close area of influence that is often not reached by the busy parents. 

Our children often miss learning by modelling from contact with their parents, instead pursuing alternatives with greater availability, be it on the playground, through the media or online. Children can end up growing up with concerned yet pestering parents, (who naggingly highlight what the child is doing wrong) without ever learning how their parents deal with pressure; how they reason; how they overcome adversity; how they manage their money; how they cultivate their relationships; how they approach their conflicts; how they produce order; how they treat their emotions; or how they coexist with their faults. Instead, other appealing and immediate alternatives, ever-validating, are permitted to occupy that invaluable space. 

This loss of contact is a wasted opportunity, for parents and children alike.

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Tim Burrill
Membership Manager & Executive Assistant
If you would like to learn more about our events and membership, or have other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.