People need to reconnect properly. Having recently run workshops where this was a key message throughout, the point was made even more on this morning’s morning walk.
In my workshops last week, the young people I worked with were discussing how there is always someone out there available to listen to us, but we need to find someone who will listen as it’s the listener who is more important than us just talking to somebody who isn’t really bothered.
About a month ago, the Samaritans held their #BrewMonday event, which we agreed at youth club would be a great event to be involved in due its importance and our place in the community. The event is held on or as near to the third Monday in January as possible because this is classed as the most depressing day of the year. The event was a resounding success with £90 raised for the Samaritans, but more than that we had about 20 people through the door who sat and talked to each other, no devices out on the table, but good, wholesome conversations.
Off the back of this, I then met up with a dear friend in a completely new venue for a brunch. Often, I think we get an idea of how long something will last – oh I’m only going out for a coffee, we’ll be an hour – well, with no eyes being kept on the clock we sat, chatted, and laughed for nearly three hours.
There have been a few family meals out as well. Not to the old haunts but new ones. The exploration of new places brings about some fresh energy to the body, but also the opportunity to sit and talk, something which doesn’t happen a lot at home due to the busyness of our lives.
So, the morning walk. In light of the tragic news of the death of British TV personality Caroline Flack recently there’s been a lot of promotion of being kind to one another, but it needs to be more than just posting a hash tag. I did my usual thing this morning of attempting to engage people I passed with a friendly smile and an engagement of ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’, but this was to no avail.
I was met with heads down, looks the other way, headphones in, text necks, and some who clearly had spotted and heard but just ignored. I know I may come across as a bit weird actually trying to cheer somebody’s day up or making them realise that someone’s realised they exist, but come on people, you’re happy to hash tag a positive quote about reconnecting and being kind but you’re not willing to actually do something about it.
When did we lose sight of the fact that we’re all human, all one race, all one community? We are one. Being kind shouldn’t even need a hash tag or extra promotion. We should be doing this as standard, and yet, we shy away, we hide, we aren’t prepared to make that change.
Practice what you preach.
And so I say to you…
- Disconnect when you go out for a walk.
- Look up, smile, speak.
- Enjoy nature and life in general. The world isn’t just on the end of your hand.
- Arrange a catch up with friends and put your phones away.
- Do a random act of kindness every day.
- Buy flowers, a book, or something nice for yourself, a friend, a stranger.
- Organise tea and cake once a month – for a few or for many.
Make kindness a part of your every day, a part of your being, and not only kindness to others, but kindness to yourself. For without practising kindness to yourself, how can you expect to practice it to others?
Don’t #bekind, but actually Be Kind!