Tl;dr: To inhabit the impact / investing worlds, as I do, is to live always in contemplation of a reality that may one day be our future. If we all thought like that, imagine what could be? Trigger warning: cancer.
A peculiarity of ageing is its capacity to both accelerate and deteriorate human possibilities. To grow up is to gain wisdom, maturity, skills, and knowledge. Yet ageing, in its biological sense, is the degeneration of a cell's functions over time.
Ageing brings other peculiarities. More wisdom, but an unknown amount of time to make use of it. Certainly less time than before.
A growing a) desire to be independent and b) awareness of how much we depend on others.
The role reversal between parent and child for those lucky enough to know and to love and to live near their parents.
Ageing, like all change, happens slowly at first, and then all at once.
One day you’re lifting heavy things with your back and the next you have seemingly irreparable back pain.
One day you’re taking time out to figure out who you are and what you want for your life, and the next, you find yourself wanting to work hard and take on responsibility. Almost as if this is the natural and intended side effect of taking time out.
Or, as in my case, one day you’re going about your life, about to relaunch writing this publication, and the next your mum has cancer. Though it is the best kind of cancer one could hope for, highly treatable, early stage, easily accessible, there is still the what-it-means-to-confront-mortality that comes with any Serious Illness.
There is still a role reversal, even if only temporary.
Suddenly, I’m coordinating pick ups and drop offs, attending appointments, worrying in secret, gently scolding, starting or ending conversations asking about the cancer. Though I try not to do all of these things, try not to make everything about the cancer, as if the cancer is a new baby in the family whose growth or lack thereof everyone is obsessed with, I still do.
And even though the cancer is gone now in the physical sense, surgically removed, it still exists.
“...Cancer is a flaw in our growth, but this flaw is deeply entrenched in ourselves. We can rid ourselves of cancer, then, only as much as we can rid ourselves of the processes in our physiology that depend on growth — aging, regeneration, healing, reproduction.” ― Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
In treating cancer, doctors prefer to use the language ‘no evidence of disease,’ rather than ‘cured.’
It’s the kind of language that leaves open the possibility of return, and with it, an enduring reminder of the nature of life and time.
“Life is a vessel of sadness, but it is noble to live life, and without time there is no life.”― Alan Lightman, Einstein's Dreams
Though you may seek out answers to Life’s Big Questions, life’s true possibilities and meaning can only be revealed with the passage of time. Our struggle is trying to make sense of it in our time here. We see attempts to capture that meaning in Rumi, and Rilke, and Tolstoy and countless others, but only in the context of things like Serious Illness, Really Bad Heartbreak, or life's other challenges, are the answers made more tangible, more real.
“What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
There is meaning in the search to understand. My search to understand started out with this publication (originally on substack). But it has grown alongside me in size and strength.
To inhabit the impact and investing worlds, as I do, is to live always in contemplation of a better reality, that may one day be our future. At the heart of it all is an understanding that everything that ever made a difference in the world, every invention, every positive change, was at one point just an idea in someone’s mind.
What a wonderful, beautiful thing. It’s a mindset and understanding that demands to be shared. And it goes well beyond finance. People are different. They have different ideas and beliefs. These differences represent the vastness of human possibility, and this will be our focus moving forward.
With that, I’d like to officially announce the relaunch of good young money here. This is the first newsletter. If you're reading this, thank you for being here on day 1.
Weekly ideas start from Thursday. Same kinds of ideas, in a new and updated format, and long-form only sometimes.
Read more about the new good young money here.