It’s just over 10 years since one of our earlier school reunions where we asked ourselves, what would the older you say to the younger you if you bumped into yourself 40 years ago?
The answers were simple enough then: be confident, don’t worry, it’ll all be alright. We were sure we were all part of the traffic together, happy to share pit stops, caveats, advice on oncoming diversions, and warnings of impending heavy weather.
Time though has continued to fly by without any regard to our feelings, plans or mission statements and in 2023, the weather is getting heavier and the prognoses bleaker.
What might the answers to that question now be, ten years on? Now that we’re living through the further and faster physical failings of our bodies and minds? And the failures of relationships we once held dear? And the failed post 2nd war narrative which exhorted us to believe that because we’ve had permanent peace in Europe since 1945, we would continue to do further on down the road of history?
If we were to meet our younger selves again, could we say with so much certainty not to worry because everything was going to be alright?
That optimism of 10 years ago may well be tempered by our personal experiences of loneliness, grief, and the grim realisation that the wider political narratives we had been sold throughout our life time were as dodgy as the state of our knees when being tested on the tennis court.
Once upon a time, you could have been confident about leaping up at the net to effect that perfect smash; but not now. That move risks a higher degree of physical jeopardy which could land you in A and E in a matter of minutes and take you months to recover from (if at all).
So to our younger selves, I’d say be confident, don’t worry, it’ll all be alright. InshAllah.