Conflicted Young Lives

Author: Yugal SehgalOriginally published on November 29, 2021

A poem about the conflicting ways in which young adults are encouraged and discouraged:

Be yourself, they tell you

Reckless then they call it.

Do your own thing, they advise

Midway then they stall it.

You’ve got time, they say

Don’t waste it, they implore.

“Go out and discover, young one...

But just what we let you explore.”

Dream big and dare, they teach

Be practical, then they imply.

Anything is possible, they admit

Only your abilities they deny.

Enjoy your youth, they urge

It doesn’t come back, they remind.

"Live life to the fullest, young one...

Oh and here's your all-consuming grind."

Voice your views, they instruct

Embrace disagreements, then they add.

Learn to question, they impel

Just not them, they get mad.

Work through the hardship, they counsel

Nothing good comes easy, they state.

"Labour hard and toil, young one…

So what if it's a job you hate."

Don’t worry too much, they stress

Things will work out, they vow.

It will all make sense, they assure

Someday soon, just not now.

Yugal Sehgal writes about life, mindfulness, and people. He lives in India. Follow him and @drawcuments on Instagram.