Elaine Forrestal

Old Heads on Young Shoulders

The future is in good hands

It is frightening to think how badly mislead we could end up being if we were to stay at home in our cocoons for too long and believe only what we read, see and hear online. The best and the worst of our society is portrayed there, but sometimes we have to look much harder to see the good things that happen. The worst of the younger generation, in particular, is often emphasised, sensationalised and, if we start to dwell on it,  blown out of all proportion with the result that we disregard the enormous capacity of young people for positive change. We throw up our hands in despair and say, ‘What will become of the world?’ But if we go out and actually meet some of these young people we realise just how remarkably polite, caring and hard-working some of them are. Not all, of course, but enough to reassure me that, given a little encouragement along the way, the world will probably survive after all.

I am fortunate to have met not one, but two of these inspiring young people in the last week. While very different in their goals and aspirations, they are nevertheless intelligent, thoughtful, articulate and outspoken. And they are both passionate about many of the things we older generations hold dear – respect for others, care for the environment, but independent, rational thinking, a balanced approach to the use of resources, not a blind pursuit of renewables without any thought for how other precious resources are being destroyed. Like wind farms versus bird life, irrigation versus algae clogged rivers and so on. It is heartening to find young people weighing up these important questions instead of blindly following the latest trends on social media.

Well done, guys. You know who you are, and you and your friends will really make a difference.