Searching for hope
As the impact of Covid-19 unfolded, and we moved into lockdown, I searched for hope. I summoned an image of humanity, pulling together to face the challenges with integrity and generosity.
Yet, this was really a way for me to manage and balance out my fears that society would go feral.
I’m still hoping that positive qualities like generosity and integrity will endure. I’m also hoping that in the balance, we’ll look back on how we responded to current times and be encouraged by our actions and the way we pulled together.
It goes beyond lockdown
Besides viral pandemics, I’m considering some of the ongoing challenges crime-afflicted communities face through to the globally relevant issue of a changing climate. I think having trust in each other is going to be the fuel that will feed the fires of encouragement, and be a welcome source of warmth for us all in times of need.
Unsurprising life lessons
Trust, of course, needs to be earned. Nothing new but something I am freshly reminded of in the mentoring work I do with young men in abandofbrothers.
Something else I am learning but don’t always put into practice is how important it is to say thank you to people who have helped me along in life.
It’s important because encouraging people to be human (or humane!) is so needed. For everyday reasons like just having a good day as well as the broader societal reasons, I mentioned earlier.
Again, I’m not dropping any groundbreaking knowledge here but perhaps putting the next part into practice is.
Gratitude on steroids
Expressions of gratitude land so much better when we add two things to it.
- Naming the quality or virtue we see in the other. e.g. Strength or Determination…and
- Saying how it has made your life better e.g. You have inspired me to start up my own business.
So being specific and saying how it made a difference in your life adds weight and substance. Give it a go and see for yourself.
Still in lockdown, as you’re reading this?
Then use social media to send your message. It goes something like this:
1. Grab a piece of paper and using a marker or felt tip pen, write out the following, filling in the blanks:
Thank you _____________(person’s name), for showing me ____________ (quality).
You’ve helped me ___________________________ (describe effect on your life).
2. Remember to add or tag your nominations in the comments sections.
“Along with Nathan, I nominate (person 2) Conroy Harris and (person 3) Helen Carpenter to choose someone you are thankful for.
Name the quality you see in them and how it has changed your life for the better. #thankstoyou “
I’m not sure how far this will go, but I’ll be content if it makes a difference to just one person. Whether it goes further and touches the lives of others will be partly up to you.
I hope I have encouraged you to thank someone special in your life.
Thanks to Helen, Rob, Dan, Rose, Kiera and Zoe for being part of the cauldron of inspiration from which this idea was born. I’m grateful you cared enough to have this conversation.