I had a meeting last night with someone who was a potential investor. Older Jewish woman, very accomplished, “sat on several boards”, which if I’m honest has never been a testament to anything particularly inspiring, in my experience.
Well, you could not have picked someone less aligned. Thought purpose was rubbish, young people ought just be happy they had a job and could pay for their lives on the weekend. Didn’t seem to really grasp the value of business for good, mostly through cynicism more than an obvious lack of heart.
Gender equality was rubbish, it should be the best man for the job, and all of these women’s business groups were ridiculous.
Anyway, you get the idea. Oh, plus she summarily dismissed the notion that what I was building with Good Empire had any value, and would absolutely not work.
Needless to say, it took everything I had not to get defensive, even though my jaw was locked solid in a grimace that thinly veiled my shock. This was a very successful woman, after all, who say on several boards.
So what’s my point? I know – we all know – there are people who think young people today are soft, indulgent. That this idea of finding and living our purpose is fanciful, and we should just work harder and be grateful.
I know this was a woman who had smashed her own way through the glass ceiling and I have the utmost respect for her for that, not because she’s a woman, but because she’s a human who claimed her place despite whatever the culture told her she should be.
But I cannot understand this notion that things were better in the good old days.
This morning I overheard on the radio (before changing the station) a bunch of middle-aged men complaining about how soft kids were today, quoting sports fields not keeping score, and even suggesting that we were raising a bunch of cry-babies. Yes, it was Triple M, and yes they were ex-footballers, but again, otherwise intelligent and very successful people.
For fuck’s sake, when are we going to realise that things aren’t so fucking good now, and that’s largely on account of this “toughen up” culture that has purvaded since the dawn of time, right up until quite recently?
How is it that otherwise intelligent and educated people still give airtime to people like those footballers on the radio (I love football by the way), in this day and age, when we so desperately need some emotional intelligence in our leaders and influencers.
The very last thing we need is glorification of the good old days.
We have to change this culture. And that means evolving. Softening with love, not toughening up. What are we fucking toughening up for? To harden ourselves for the battle ahead? That’s not going to get us anywhere.
We need to put on a god-damn burqa and hug each other, even if we don’t yet understand each other. Is Jacinta seriously the only leader who gets it?
I know you know this. You like wouldn’t have subscribed if you felt otherwise. And so maybe I’ve wasted my breath sharing this, and it’s nothing but a rant. If so, I apologise.
And I know we romanticise things like family values when we think fondly of past eras. But the truth is rarely so romantic. And that people today are disconnected because of social media.
Yes, we’ve brought on some new problems, but we can’t look backward for answers. The old days were not so good as some may remember, even if there’s comfort in familiarity.
Let’s go forth and create a future like there’s never been.
Let’s start talking about the good new days.