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SA

Younger every year

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MICHAEL SIEFF

The event, a Helping Hands fundraising initiative, attracts over 600 young people each time and that’s only because the venue can’t hold more. The drawcard is that it features speakers who are world-renowned local and global business leaders and entrepreneurs who teach the future leaders of our community by sharing the stories of their lives and their journeys to success. 

This year Howard Behar, the retired president of Starbucks International, told the audience about his business career and the personal beliefs that motivated his achievements. He was inspirational.  

But what also amazed and delighted me was the audience, because I hardly knew any of them! When I first started attending JEI eight years ago, I personally knew the vast majority of those present and enjoyed socialising with them.

This year, when 90 per cent of the attendees were new faces, I enjoyed them even more because it was clear to me that far from being staid, there is an ever-new resource of interested young adults keen to associate themselves with the Chev’s brand as supporters and ambassadors.  Standing in that busy room and taking in the crowd was an “aha” moment.

This realisation, though obvious in hindsight, became increasingly heartwarming as I mentally unpacked its far-reaching implications. 

No matter how brilliant human ingenuity, time is the one creation we have never been able to harness or control. In every other area of life we advance – sporting records are broken, communication channels are universal, advances in medicine are curing diseases once devastating and industrially, technologically, politically and socially we grow and improve.  

We can even control the weather – indoors at least. But while we cannot tame time, we can appreciate the infinite blessing in that limitation. 

No matter how wealthy, famous or fit, people grow older and the youth grow up, their tastes and interests maturing, their opinions, beliefs, perceptions and aspirations different from those of their parents and grandparents.

This is enlightening and fills me with hope and optimism.  Comparisons have been studied between Baby Boomers, Generation X and our beloved Millennials. Exposed to different realities growing up, each group thinks and behaves differently. What that means is that the people who populate our world will always have a fresh, new and challenging perspective. And that’s exciting. 

Even if it means I won’t recognise many of the young faces at JEI, I have the comfort of knowing that the Chev is relevant to them and that some values are eternal.

May our partnership continue to thrive – feedback@jhbchev.co.za

 

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