KVV | A Note from our Director

June 21, 2023 Kapp Van Wyk Van Zyl Inc

16 June marks the celebration of Youth Day in South Africa.  A tragic day in our history, which tragedy is now commemorated by this public holiday every year.  As a result, June in general is dedicated to the youth of South Africa and several programs are adopted and supported by our Government focusing on issues affecting the youth of South Africa and highlighting challenges and opportunities focused on the youth.

Thinking about Youth Day made me ponder on a few things.  On the lighter side, on whether or not I still qualify as “youth”?  Being on the wrong side of 40 in all probability I think I am starting to rather qualify as “middle aged”!

You are allowed a chuckle, however, whether you agree with this view or not will probably depend on your age as the reader hereof, which makes the point that on the one side of the spectrum, age and the definition of “youth” falls in the eye of the beholder.  I challenge you to think about this statement.  Did you not as a child think your parents of then 30 years of age to be “very old”?  As a teenager, or a student, were you not embarrassed by your “old” parents of 40 or 50 years old?  Did you not see your Grandparents of 60 years old to be very “elderly”?  As a person my age or older, have you not suddenly joined your once “aged” parents in rolling your eyes at the “kids these days”?  My parents told me that when they were young the music of Elvis Presley was seen by their parent’s generation as “music from the devil”.  I smile in wondering what my great grandparent’s generation would say about the music of today.

On the other side of the spectrum, age and the definition of “youth” may be a very personal definition on how one sees oneself.  Again, think on this critically.  Now that you are the age that your parents or grandparents once were, do you think of yourself as old?  Maybe sometimes the answer to this would be yes.  In my age group we are starting to smile as we start to understand what our grandparents used to complain about in feeling the cold weather in your bones.  Certainly, when the first hot flashes or signs of arthritis appear or your doctor diagnoses you with high cholesterol, the facts are undisputable that time is certainly moving on.  However, I think for the most part when we think of ourselves, we do not think of ourselves as “old”.  For the most part we generally do not think that our time on this earth is at all limited, or that the abilities of our bodies to do what we once were able to, is in any way fading.

And this, I think, is the true secret to the “fountain of youth”.  Not your age as calculated from the years passing since the issue of your birth certificate, but rather how you see yourself and how you live your life.  It is of course a blessing to get old and have good health.  That is not entirely in our control.  But living a healthy, balanced life, eating correctly, and getting regular exercise, having a positive “can do” mindset, that, is in our control.  I once read somewhere that one should plan as if you are going to die tomorrow, but live as if you are going to live forever.

The world is certainly still awaking from the aftershock of the Covid Pandemic and all the repercussions thereof.  One thing we learned from this pandemic is that live is short and that we are not necessarily guaranteed to reach an “elderly” age, whatever your definition of that may be.

So, in this month, where we celebrate Youth Month may you bless the youth in your life with love and mentorship.  May you join programs which give opportunities for the youth to grow and develop and be protected.  But may you also remember that in someone else’s eyes, you are still “youth”.  And most of all, may you be “youth” in your own eyes and may you never allow yourself to be limited in your potential.  Because if you die tomorrow, today you would have been the oldest you would ever be.

Mariëtte van Zyl  |  Director

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