Take a look around you… what do you see? What is it that you hold dear to you?
I’m not talking about the shiny new 2 litre turbo diesel car on your drive, or the brand new top spec iPhone, and I am not concerned if your surround sound Blu Ray player has bluetooth or wifi connectivity. None of this stuff really matters in the grand scheme of things. These things fade, and they are easily and often very quickly replaced. What matters is the people around you, how much you care about them, and how much of a difference you can make in their lives. There is a famous and very important quote from the recently deceased Maya Angelou, who said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
How true this is, and how we need to remember it. I am always mindful around my daughter that she doesn’t see me on my phone too much, I never want her thinking that I am not paying attention, or that my phone is more important than her. I know my wife does far more around the house than I do, and I like to say thank you from time to time, just to let her know that I do appreciate these things, even if she thinks I haven’t noticed.
So, what do I hold dear? These two people…
This last week has just made me reflect on things a little, as I guess many people have. The recent massacres of Paris, and the less media covered deadly attacks in Lebanon, and of course the almost overlooked somali attacks in Kenya earlier in the year that left 147 university students dead, that for some reason just didn’t get the same media coverage that Paris did. All of these events were tragic and brutal, the logic behind them almost seems unfathomable, but we must not lose sight of the good that comes out of people who just want to help in those moments, in the forms of people risking and even losing their own lives to help, save and protect others. The security guard in Beirut, for example, that stood up and prevented a suicide bomber from entering a football stadium and killing hundreds of innocent people, and of course the name of a real hero that no-one should forget… Adel Termos, who made a split second decision to let go of his daughters hand and tackle a suicide bomber to the ground, and ended up losing his life in that brief moment, along with the life of the suicide bomber, and in doing so saving the lives of tens, if not hundreds of people who can live to see another day because of his sacrifice, and his family’s loss.
So what do you see around you? Do you have people who you would do anything for? Do you have friends and family that you love? Do you make the effort to keep in contact and call them? I think its a fairly accepted trait that none of us really keep in contact as much as we should do, or would like to, and yet keep bouncing around that same old excuse “but I’ve been so busy…”
Really? So busy with what? Are we all that busy that we can’t pick up the phone and make a call to someone that we haven’t seen in a while? Or are we suddenly facing the fact that due to how ingrained social media has become with our lives, we are now in contact with more friends than we’ve ever been used to talking to? I have a good circle of friends, and could maybe fire off twenty or so names without even thinking about it, even though I may not see some of these people for several months at a time.
Yet now with the likes of facebook, I suddenly have almost 400 people on my friend list. 400 people! How do you keep in touch with 400 people? Well, the simple fact is, I don’t. They may ‘like’ one of the many photos I put on of my daughter, and if I’m lucky I may even get a “happy birthday” once a year, but in reality I haven’t seen a lot of these people for years, if not decades, and possibly may never even see them in person again, yet I don’t have the heart to break the connection and ‘unfriend’ them.
I do like to consider myself one of those people who makes the effort though, and when the months begin to slip by, I will send out messages or make calls and try to arrange a get together of some kind, or a night out, especially as they seem to happen so rarely these days now that most of our friends, like us, have children. Children do make a wonderful distraction, but every now and again you have to relax, connect with people and remember who the person is behind the parent mask. It is still one of the best jobs I will ever have, being a parent to my wonderful daughter who continues to inspire me, and make me so proud and happy.