Letter to my Young Self: Svetozar Cvetković

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Find out what Svetozar Cvetković had to tell his younger self in the series of “Letter to my Younger Self”, realized by McCann Beograd and Nedeljnik magazine. #truthaboutage

I’ve always learned more from the younger ones.

I learned from myself even when I was young. I was braver, I was fearless, I knew a lot, they gave me a little, and I could have done a lot. The world was mine, I loved it, loved my country and she somehow loved me, even though she didn’t give me as much as she could have. But that little part was also happiness on my face. When I look at the photographs of that time, I can see the colors of fulfilment, unlike today’s colorful saturation of nothingness.

One young and overly wonderful colleague of mine asked me: “What is left for us, what message, how will we continue, if your message is to give up?”

No, I’m really not a pessimist, I’m a realist, and I don’t „give up“, and there’s only a little left there and I do not mean the cashier in Maxi constantly asking me if I’m retiring and I hiss through my teeth “No!!!”, I don’t think of my own duration or some so-called current situation, I mean that I need you, and if you aren’t there, then I really do not have much left.

You, my daughter of 25, you of 10 and you my son of 5. I’m turning to you because your power is leading me, your smile breaks light for me, and your wisdom makes me alive. Both you and your environment, friends from the park, the ones a bit older, and those who finished the school, and those who are only starting their journey, don’t learn from me, because you are here to teach me, not to give up – to help us all see the light that isn’t shown and which only you can reveal. At least I think so.

There is no fear, no precaution that is redundant, no scepticism, and no questions for which you don’t have the answers. I know it because I knew that answer myself but didn’t use it when it was needed. There is an opportunity for you. Give the answer and when you fall, raise as if there was no fall, regardless of the bruising and the bandage on your head, go further, much further than where we arrived because we did not arrive. We’re guilty, don’t forgive us, we don’t deserve it, we really deserve the question of Maxi’s cashier – “are you retired” (even if we don’t appear so).

I ask a wonderful, mature, respected woman of the highest rank – well, tell me how do I live now?

“Normally, lungs full, do everything you can, not like someone who’s 40, but according to your age.”

Ah, as I grew bitter, first of all to myself and my answer: “My problem is not that I don’t know I’m not 40, but that I think I’m 20!!!”

So, having my almost 20 times 3, I have lessened the knowledge times 3 comparing to myself at 20. I still think that you in your 20s and 30s know more than me, I still long for your knowledge, please transfer it somehow to this narrowed consciousness of mine, to this moment that strikes me on the nerves, yields wrinkles, makes me sceptical, extinguishes optimism and all activity that make sense.

And there is a sense, and I ask you to transfer it and enter your lives into the future, which even here has to have its future.

Thank you, yours sincerely, SC…

The original publication can be found at: http://www.nedeljnik.rs/nedeljnik/portalnews/pismo-svetozara-cvetkovica-mladem-sebi-i-kad-bio-sam-mlad-ucio-sam-od-sebe/