Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Svetozar Cvetković
I’ve always learned more from those younger.
Even when I was young, I learned from myself. I was brave, I was fearless, I knew a lot, I was given little, and could do a lot. The world was mine. I loved it. I loved my country. And she somehow loved me, even though she did not give me everything that I could. But even that little she gave me brought happiness to my face. When I look at the photographs of that time, I can see the faded colors of fulfillment, in contrast to today’s colorful saturation with nothingness.
One of my young, and above all a wonderful colleague asked me: “What is left to us? What kind of message? How will we continue if your message is ‘giving up’?”
No. I truly am not a pessimist – I’m a realist. And I do not “give up”, but there’s a little of that left here, whereby I don’t mean the cashier at the Maxi store constantly asking me if I’ve retired, and I squeeze through my teeth “No!!!”. I don’t think about my expiration date. I don’t think of the so-called. ‘current situation’. I think about how I need you, and if you aren’t there, then I really don’t have much left.
You, my daughter of 25, You of ten, and You, my son of 5, I talk to You, because your strength is what drives me, your smile is what brings light, your wisdom is what makes me alive. Both you and your environment, your peers from the park, and those a biiiit older, and those who finished their schools, and those who are just starting to trod their road… Don’t learn from me. You are here so I can learn from you, so I won’t give up, so I don’t… no, not ‘I’, but ‘We’. So that we can see the light that we cannot see, and which you can show us. That’s what I think.
There is no fear, no superfluous precaution, no skepticism, no questions to which you don’t know the answer. I know because I knew that answer myself, but did not use it when I needed to. You are given the opportunity. Give the answer, and when you fall, raise as if you had never fallen, regardless of the bruised knees and the bandage on your head. Push further, much further than we have reached, because we haven’t arrived at our goal. We are to blame, and don’t forgive us. We don’t deserve it. What we truly deserve is the question from the cashier at Maxi – “have you retired?” (even though we pretend we don’t look that way).
I ask one wonderful, great, respected woman – an expert of the highest rank – “Well, tell me, how should I live now?”
“Normal. Live your life to the fullest. Do everything you can and everything you always did, the way you did it, but not as a 40 year-old, but according to your age.”
Oh how bitterly I laughed, to my own answer above all: “My problem is not that I don’t know that I’m no longer 40, but because I think I’m 20!!!”
And so, with my 20 years 3 times over, I have the knowledge 3 times reduced in comparison to that of 20 year-old. And I still think that you at 20, 30, know more. And I still yearn for your knowledge and beg you to sensibly transfer it somehow to this narrowed consciousness of mine that is degrading my nerves, creating wrinkles, making me skeptical, stifling my optimism and activity.
And there is sense, and I beg you to transfer it to me, and to engrave your lives into the future which even here has to have its future.
Thank you, your Cv …
13 April 2018, Belgrade
About the project
Project Letter to Younger Self is implemented in collaboration between Nedeljnik and McCann Truth Central Belgrade, as part of the research “Truth About Years”.
We are used that surveys and research mainly deal with the ratings of political parties and leaders. The real life is somehow avoided by researchers, but when they do pay attention to it, the results often surprise us.
Truth About Years, the research conducted globally by McCann Truth Central, had interesting results in Serbia. In the country that is currently considered “the oldest in Europe” results show the perception of Serbs toward old age. So we learned that a large part of the population was indifferent, and that a considerable part of the respondents were concerned, and even fearful of old age.
That is why McCann Truth Central Belgrade and Nedeljnik decided to launch an action following the research about years, in which every second issue of the magazine will publish a letter from a public figure to their younger self, and a letter to their older self. All of the texts will eventually be compiled in a book that will be released in 2019. It will be a kind of collection of opinions, and an inventory of youth and promises of the old age.