When I used to drop my kid off at nursery, the last thing I’d say to him before waving goodbye was; “be good, be kind; be gentle and have a happy day”. A simple message for a 4 year old, but a meaningful one nonetheless:
Be good to yourself and your friends, you spend a lot of your time with them. Listen to your teachers; try not to get into trouble and distract them from helping someone who really needs a hand. Think of others, ask them if they’re ok, help them when they’re unable to do something. Go and talk to the new kid and make her feel welcome, think how lonely you’d feel if you were in her shoes. Help up that friend who’s fallen in the playground. Don’t follow the crowd, if you know they’re doing something wrong. Think about what you want to say, before you speak. Smile.., even though you’re annoyed you keep writing your letters back to front, or that little Tommy got to the T-Rex before you, tomorrow’s another day, with practice and perseverance, you’ll get there. Don’t give up…
In troubled times, there is a tendency to look down, instead of trying to keep our heads up and looking forward. There’s a propensity to look inwards instead of outwards; how can I get ahead, rather than what can I do for others so we all move forward together.
Recently, we have experienced all kinds of significant, even life-changing events. Undoubtedly, we will continue to do so, far into the future. These are not new phenomena. Our antecedents went through their own “unprecedented” events, without the luxuries of the technological, scientific and communications advances we enjoy today.
What is new is our reaction. Nowadays, any piece of news (whether newsworthy or not), is amplified under the global magnifying glass and disseminated throughout the world at an alarming speed, sometimes not accurately, often in such a manner that the original story and the importance of the message is lost along the way.
This unstoppable and uncontrollable onslaught of information creates herds of spectators, all too ready to add their opinion, without stopping to contemplate or how to properly react to what they’ve been told, or whether they should be even adding to the avalanche of information.
What happens when a herd is spooked? It stampedes, with little regard for anything or anyone standing in the way; each to their own. That’s fine if you’re a wildebeest on the Serengeti, not so much if you’re a human being sharing a city with hundreds of thousands of others.
Perhaps we should take recent events as a wake-up call. Maybe we will, at least we ought to, appreciate our lifestyles a little more. More importantly, we should take greater care with our lives and the lives of those around us. It’s time to look up from our small screens and see the bigger picture.
So friend,…be good, be kind, be gentle…and have a happy day.