The first week of the new year is coming to an end. It was a good week. I went skiing with my friends in the Swiss alps (watch the video here), visited my good friend and extremely talented musician, Dustin Dooley (whose debut album you can get here), and shared life with friends in local bars, in each other’s living rooms, or on the streets of the beautiful city of Basel.
So far so good.
But I have no idea what this year will bring. I don’t know what I’ll be doing, I don’t know where I’ll be going, I don’t know whom I’ll meet. I do know, however, that I don’t know what’s in store for me in 2014.
It’s almost like I’m in a little boat at a dock in Lisbon, Portugal, ready to sail across the Atlantic to Miami, Florida. You know how sometimes you look out into the ocean and the waters look so still, and you think to yourself, “It can’t be rough out there; it looks so calm”? That’s a big illusion. You don’t know what’s going to happen. You might drown, get eaten by some weird sea creature whose existence nobody has documented yet, get seasick, or, even worse, end up getting your hair all messed up in a giant waterspout. But you might also make it to Miami in one piece and party like it’s 2015, because it might take you a full year to get there.
He just compared life to the ocean. Wow.
I know it’s a cliché, but there’s a reason why clichés are used so much: they carry veritas, which is Latin for “truth.”
This year I’ve decided not to make a new year’s resolutions list. Why not? Well, have you actually completed all of your resolutions for last year? You did? Oh.
In that case, here’s my unusually long list of new year’s resolutions:
- Make young people curious.
Young people, which is a relative term, so let me narrow it down a tad so you don’t feel like I’m talking about grandparents who believe they’re still #partying it up with their phonographs. I mean the 12-18 year-olds. These young people think about a lot more than we might expect.
While I was visiting Dustin, he told me something really interesting. He said, “When you’re having a deep conversation with a 12-year-old, just close your eyes and listen. Don’t picture a young face; just listen to what they’re actually saying.” The sophistication and depth of their thoughts might catch you off-guard.
But these thoughts need guidance. If you give a 15-year-old a can of black spray paint and tell them they can do whatever they want with it, they will run off into the city and graffiti the notorious anarchist A onto street signs and residential apartment walls. But give them a simple instruction such as, “Create something truly beautiful,” and you’ll be surprised at what they can come up with.
Young people are looking for a mission, and because nobody gives them a mission worth dying for, they settle to believe what the media tells them to do with their lives: party, drink, do drugs, have sex, no regrets, you’re young. And we all know that the media cares much about the lives of gullible youth.
This year I want to make young people curious about their mission. A ship without coordinates will get lost in the ocean and sink, but a ship with coordinates will brave anything that comes its way and make it to its destination.
So here’s to 2014.