In a variety of recent global contexts, much has been written and said about which lives matter.
I have – perhaps cowardly – consciously chosen to not engage in discussions around the specifics of the terminology used and have rather left the complexity thereof to those better versed on the intricacies of the subject.
In spite of my cowardliness however, I am acutely aware of the heavy weight and potential pain certain words might carry when making reference to injustice, imbalance, inequality, gender, violence, criminality and more that scars the life experiences of many.
Alongside this awareness is my cognisance of the atrocities that have led to the evaluation and navigation around the use of certain terms, in the aim of enabling compassion, understanding and the allowance for a sense of solution-finding.
Put another way, it has been a considered personal choice to try to add value, without inadvertently falling prey to the use of language that may be experienced completely differently by someone else.
In the long run, what really counts are our actions and the efforts we each make towards finding solutions. As Gandhi’s proverb says, one has to be the change.
It has often struck me that we all have the ability to make some small contribution towards more harmonious living. It starts with the thoughts, ideas, words, and action steps of each and every one of us. And it starts today.
As was wisely said by Mother Teresa: ‘Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.’
If we choose to begin with fully acknowledging, investing in and touching the lives immediately around us, in whatever small and positive ways possible, change would unfold with relative ease. All that is required is consistency in stepping up to the opportunities that each new ‘today’ provides.
Let today be the day attention is paid to the story of those with whom you happen to be sharing this part of your journey. Listen, observe, support, offer guidance, share a meal, stretch out beyond the ‘what’s in it for me’ that is has become so commonplace – and make it a day to remember. If not for yourself, then for the other.
When we release yesterday and focus on what is possible today, we make tomorrow the future we aspire to create. There is no better time for action, than now.
Simply begin ….