Changing Perceptions, Changing Lives is an initiative that seeks to unite communities, recreating the intergenerational knowledge exchange that is missing from many modern families. To do this, we want to ask those who represent the range of generations to put their differences behind them and help them rediscover the values and experiences they share—by learning to see each other differently.
We all hold preconceptions. They help us organise, define and navigate a complex world of constant information. But if we don’t continue to hone in and refine them, our preconceptions can hold us back, blinding us from giving new ideas and unknown people a fair chance. Often this process of refinement feels harder across generations as these are people we can’t immediately relate with.
Outside of our family circle, it can often feel like other generations don’t understand or respect us. It can seem like older generations conform to a certain set of negative traits and younger generations to another. The truth, of course, is that not only are no two individuals the same but also that we are far more similar than we are different.
With today’s executives having such busy schedules, it is easy to forget that they too were once setting out in life, not sure of what they wanted to do for a living and nervous about making the wrong choices. Some people are lucky enough to have a solid family background with parents and adults around that can offer emotional and financial support and guidance, helping their children through these phases of their lives; however, not all young people are so lucky.
Beyond their family, many young people often don’t have access to anyone, be that an older person or professional role model to look up to or a mentor to work with. In fact, many people we speak with just want to talk to someone who cares, who will listen and who can help them make sense of their options.
Changing Perceptions, Changing Lives is an initiative that actively looks to unite young people with retired professionals, or those reaching the end of their careers, who can share their wisdom as well as offer them real support and guidance.