The Beauty of Youth

Our business has been hosting a 16 year old local student for the most part of this year, every Friday, on a ‘work experience’ arrangement.

‘A‘ as we will call him, is on a soccer scholarship at one of the districts’ very good quality private schools, and he plays both junior and senior soccer for one of the WA National Premier League Clubs.

‘A’ has won our hearts with his positive and friendly manner, and his willingness to be part of our team, and keenness to learn. He has strong ambitions in life, one of which is to see if he can become a professional soccer player at some level.

Given the positive feedback our office has received from our involvement with ‘A’, we decided to expand this program and run a two day Workshop, which we entitled “An Introduction to the Finance Industry”, and invite some other local young people to attend.

The class of 2017, as we have now called them attended our office for two days in mid-June, and successfully undertook, and contributed to the workshop.

Some of the topics covered included a summary of the legislative controls which the finance world must comply with, various alternative finance products, some financial analysis and calculation modelling, and some actual live case studies of business finance issues.

It was a rewarding and fulfilling two days for me, and our staff, and we also believe from the feedback we have since received, that it was really worthwhile for the participants as well.

These students may or may not ever work in the finance sector, but whatever happens into the future, I am sure that some of the knowledge they acquired during the workshop will be of benefit to them whatever they finally do.

Let me tell you about the other two participants, who were’ J’, another 16-year-old local boy, who is in year 10 at a good local school, and ‘S’, who is a 19-year-old local girl studying Commerce/Law, in second year, at Curtin University.

Both ‘J ‘, and ‘S’, just like ‘A’, are all studying hard, playing sport, are ambitious, well spoken, confident, well read, knowledgeable, prepared to do part time work, work experience or whatever is going to give them more practical life experience, and consequently, all make solid contributions to their family and home life.

All three of these students are fantastic examples of the quality of young people coming through society today.

We hear so much negativity about today’s youth on a daily basis, in the media, and I regularly hear more senior generations lament that they don’t know where the world is heading.

What I would encourage all of us to do is to reach out to today’s youth, talk to them, listen to their opinions, thoughts, and particularly, their concerns.

I think that many of us ‘oldies’ may be surprised at the quality of people coming through this generation…, if we take the time to get to know them.

We all know that future generations are going to face some major issues, which even today, are causing them grave concerns.

I refer to global issues like poverty, climate change, terrorism, world peace, social media domination, mental health, localised issues (e.g. employment and possible home ownership), and more generalised issues like the changing workplace due to technology. These are massive challenges that young people are going to have to deal with as their lives unfold.

Sadly, as I see it, when they look towards our world’s political and social leaders for inspiration, they are left flat and disappointed, as solving problems seems to take second place behind ‘ leaders’  self needs and self-preservation.

I am hopeful that this generation coming through into leadership roles in the next decade or so will do a better job of problem solving that our current leaders are today.

So, my advice to all of us, is to embrace the beauty of today’s youth – acknowledge their intellect, respect their opinions, give them a regular good ‘listening to ‘, and see how much positivity together we can create.

We all need more positivity in our lives, and I believe that todays’ younger generations can provide that spark of hope for us all.

I think many of us would be surprised at the outcomes, if society could just embrace some positivity regarding this.

That’s my thoughts,

Muzza from Warnbro

The Fear Factor

The documentary Bowling for Columbine was a satirical, and even sarcastic look at the USA’s gun laws and the country’s fascination with being able to lawfully carry a weapon.

But the hidden theme in this classic piece of television journalism, was its veiled conclusion that there is a daily fear factor in most people’s lives in the 21st century, which is unheralded in our history.

This fear is driven daily by all forms of media and is now becoming even more accentuated by what it seems is almost the entire western world’s fascination with all formats of social media.

In the blink of eye, all of us can find on the internet an entire video library of death and destruction, fear and loathing, hate and bigotry, racism and radicalism, sickness and abject poverty, depression and social disorder, extremism and terrorism, and every other type of activity which is known to make mankind feel less secure and less safe in their own environment.

And just in case we dared to try and be happy one day, that nights news bulletins, and the next days’ newspapers, will try and bring us all back to the previous levels of insecurity with the bad news stories of the day.

This stuff is the stuff which sells newspapers, and gets news programs ratings. Its good stuff for media moguls. Its bad news for humanity’s state of mind.

And it is the thing which the world of terrorism thrives upon. We all seem to accept that on any given day, somebody will die on our roads in Australia.  Many of us don’t even blink an eye, even when we pass a serious accident scene. Most of us certainly don’t even bother reading newspaper articles about serious car crashes – we just accept that they are an inevitability.

But when one of these car crashes is a deliberate action of a terrorist, it takes our breath away, and dominates our thought processes for days.  It seems that the reason for this is more than likely the ‘fear factor’ that this could happen to anybody in the world, if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The same logic goes for the recent US elections, where Trump targeted and got the ‘fear’ vote, by targeting terrorism, as one of his major policies – it was a telling aspect of his election.

Yet the actual statistics are that, including the 4000 approximate deaths from the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York, deaths in the USA from gunshot wounds, from 2001 until 2017, outnumber deaths from terrorism, by the ratio of 1117 to 1. In other words, the average US citizen is in excess of a thousand times more likely to die from an indiscriminate gunshot wound in the USA, inflicted by a fellow countryman, than they are to die from a terrorist act.

But are people in the US sacred of guns? Yes, maybe a little, but nothing in comparison to how scared they are of Terrorism!!!!!

The illogicity of this is staggering, but probably no more illogical than the average Aussie’s ambivalence to road trauma and death.

Or dare I say to deaths in Australia from domestic violence. Here in WA, a big part of the population are terrified of dying from a shark attack, but as detailed above, the chances of a woman dying in Australia from domestic violence is several hundred times more likely than dying from a shark attack.

The oxford dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant feeling or emotion caused by the awareness or thought that danger is present or imminent”.

So is the wrong sort of fear being propagated by the media and in the process creating unrealistically insecurity – absolutely!

That’s my opinion.

Muzza from Perth