First published Friday, July 25, 2014
The last few days have been dry, sunny, warm and generally very pleasant (if at times a little warm for those of fair complexion not used to extended periods of heat!). The schools have broken for the summer break, and here in Pembrokeshire, the county is awash with people enjoying a break away from home, and judging by the number of different number plates around the place, some have travelled quite some distance.
Whilst on many levels all is peaceful, happy and tranquil, on others the story is very different. There are countries at war, fighting over land, religion, and who knows what else. There are families grieving the loss of sons, daughters, mothers, fathers following a series of plane crashes. In other lands, there are people starving as they try desperately to scrape together enough food and water to sustain their families.
Then there’s various other views and perspectives. It would seem there are thousands of folk getting excited about the release of a movie trailer and the movie that will follow next year, whilst others are less than enthused and for a whole host of reasons. A quick glance down my newsfeed indicates that ‘reality’ tv is still going strong with shows such as Celebrity Big Brother making a return (though seeing as I have no idea who the ‘celebrities’ are I do have to question the title!) along with other popular mainstays such as the Great British Bake Off.
The summer of sport continues. We’ve had the World Cup (didn’t watch any of it!), and Wimbledon (didn’t get a chance to watch it), and now we have the Commonwealth Games going on too. People across the world will no doubt be cheering for their team, supporting their favourite stars, willing them on to medal places. Of course there are already controversies breaking around these games too, with doping scandals coming to light early on in the event.
There is much going on that raises interest, generates happiness, causes fear or ill feeling. It is hard sometimes to determine where to focus ones attention, which causes to support, what campaigns to back. Everyone will have their own preference, their own cause to champion, and their own interests to pursue.
In amongst all this however there are individuals, people like you and me. Sometimes it can seem as if we are unable to influence things or change anything or even do anything that may in some way help. There is however something we can all do. It’s not expensive, it doesn’t require a masters degree in a particular subject. Even if it’s only once a day, do something small to help someone else, or brighten their day. Pick up the phone and call a friend you’ve not spoken to for a while. Make a colleague a cup of tea, or even just hold the door open for someone as you are out and about doing your shopping. Smile at the person you pass in the street, or say good morning to the person you pass each day as they walk their dog.
A little kindness goes a long way, and it can make a real difference to you as well. If enough people do a little something each day to make something better for someone else, the ongoing effect could be huge. It will obviously take a great deal to bring peace to war torn territories, and a long period of time for those grieving to learn to live with their changed lives. Here and now however, a small gesture, a kind word, a smile, can and will make a great deal of difference to those around you, and to you as well. It does work, I promise!
Try it this weekend, and see how you feel.