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I am 35 now.

Very soon, I shall start preaching the wisdom of ‘tired and tested’ ways. Please don’t listen to me.

I may start insisting that you must respect your elders. Respect you must. But don’t ever think respect equals agreement.

If you hear me bring up culture or tradition, please remind me that these are evolving ideas. Remind me that the right to reinvent them is yours.

Do not discount my experience, but do not let that needlessly interfere with your wild dreams and possibilities.

Insist on having a voice, a say in all matters that concern you — help me secure for you, a right to freedom over your choices and your destiny.

Be sharp and call out all the subtle and overt ways of suppressing your ideas and ways of being…..challenge…..creatively rebel…..question…

If I complain about this, patiently listen.

Try to reason with me.

But if that doesn’t work, agree to disagree and do what you feel is right.

Let’s continue to learn from each other — but let your fascination for me be out of curiosity, not conditioning.

Be aware that you stand on many great shoulders, on the work of many generations (so do I. I am deeply grateful for it. It reminds me of my smallness in all this.)

Give this view a try.

Because you too will sometimes try to sound older than you actually are.

You too will be 35 sometime.

And I’ll watch the invitation you send out to your younger ones!


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