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Being a Bridge

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This week I turned 25 years-old. Roughly half of the world's population is younger than me. 

The term "youth" defines individuals between the ages of 16 to 24. So where do I fit in? I was happy to find out that according to Aric Aricson's theory of development, this week I became a "young adult."

So, as an active citizen in this world, what does being a "young adult" actually mean? 

Being a young adult in the modern world offers great opportunities and carries big responsibilities for us and for those that surround us.

Youth is about daring creativity, desperate questioning, and blind courage. Youth is about bold movements and confusion, bursting energy, virgin experiences, and about finding the emerging self. Its about camaraderie, the power of learning and of new beginnings, and about fixing what's wrong in this world.

Adulthood is about finding answers and knowing that there isn't always one. Adulthood is reaching that point where your identity is etched in stone, formed by hard earned wisdom. It brings with it the confidence of having had experience -- both good and bad and the peace of clarity. Adulthood is when you can execute ideas and master decisions -- making. Adulthood is about getting used to accepting the world the way it is while giving up on trying to answer all the questions it poses.

"Young adulthood," where I linger now, is somewhere in that lacuna between youth and adulthood.

As young adults and active citizens, we are strategically positioned to do great things.  We still have a fresh innovative mind, coupled with enormous energy and innocence, and yet our experience enables us to garner knowledge, develop expertise, know the existing systems, and to work with decision makers. 

Young adults are a bridge. We can talk with the dreamers -- and translate their language to the drivers.

Young adults might be the most powerful engine for creating innovative solutions in this world. We understand the system, and still have a clear vision of the ideal system which will embody our values. It is the best time in our lives to serve humanity for future generations.

We are still hungry. To move, to create, to change.

But we understand the responsibility of creating, the importance of learning from what already is, the need to create partnerships with institutions which work for the same cause. 

When we hear something is not possible, it challenges us, and we have the motivation to tackle it -- yet we will do so while harnessing the strength of the existing resources in the world, and offering an alternative for the ones which are old fashioned.

We are mature enough to admit some people know better than us, and yet naïve enough to carry out an idea which has never been possible before, and know it can change the world for the better- all the while with people around us looking at us, as if we have gone mad.

Young adulthood is when you start to understand why your parents were right, but its about having to hold on even tighter to your craziest dreams about making the world a better place, and proving to them that one day, not too far from now, they might be wrong.

Governments, companies and organizations have the responsibility of listening to what we, the young adults, have to say. By hiring us, cooperating with us and working with our unique point of view.  

And we, as active young adult citizens, have the responsibility of fulfilling our abilities as this bridge, for serving future generations. We mustn't skip this phase -- not ever.
 
Because sooner then we know it, we will find ourselves meeting a young passionate person, pitching to us with a spark in his eyes about his new project. And we will think: oh, how cute, so naive, so energized. This moment we will know we moved on the next phase of adulthood.

Young adulthood -- here I come!

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and The World Economic Forum in recognition of the latter's Global Shapers initiative. The Global Shapers Community is a worldwide network of city-based hubs developed and led by young entrepreneurs, activists, academics, innovators, disruptors and thought leaders. Aged between 20 and 30, they are exceptional in their achievements and drive to make a positive contribution to their communities. Follow the Global Shapers on Twitter at @globalshapers or nominate a Global Shaper at http://www.globalshapers.org/apply.