We inhabit a strange and tumultuous time! There are crises everywhere! Finding ways to sustain self, others, communities and whole nations, is a challenge to every last measure of our 'limited' resources. It seems that while the world's physical resources are being plundered, as are our emotional and psychic resources; challenges, grief, poverty taking their toll on managing even the small day–to-day particulars of ordinary life, let alone being able to manage the large questions that get thrown across the many fields of discourse. The soft touch of human kindness and love, seems to be a dreamlike state more than our wakeful reality, and yet…!
I have just returned from London and Middlesex University where I ran a symposium for research fellows, and presented at their Middlesex Inaugural Coaching Conference (more about this in our next newsletter). I was curious to be in London and gauge the thinking and 'feeling' of this post Brexit nation; to hear the views on USA politics, and the world at large. On the more mundane level however, simply getting oneself through London with its many millions passing through its streets daily, requires a resourcing of the self on a moment by moment basis that is quite extraordinary, let alone moving through London with a large suitcase (will I ever learn)!!
But I was delightfully struck – by kindness – seemingly random acts of kindness and care! There I was, over-packed as usual, trudging through the vaguely familiar warrens of interconnecting under- and over-ground trains (Rands for taxis seemed too much of a trade in our economy) trying to keep up with the powerful swell of early morning feet walking at great speed, in directions well known. Yet in the midst of it all, I met people who offered to help with the suitcase up and downstairs; offer directions with a smile and 'have a good day ma'am'; rising to let me have a seat; walking with me to show the way by going out of their way; and a delightful young Brazilian woman, who saw me - I nearly said 'hop off' a bus - but it was more like unceremoniously pull all my belongings and myself off a bus – and stopped to help me find the next bus. She pushed my large case around the streets, delighted to strike up a chat and knowing she was getting exercise (she is a model). We spent 15 minutes in a sharing conversation that was filled with energy and optimism and kindness. She then used her card to put me on the next bus with a hug and wave, secure in the knowledge that we had shared our hearts, her hopes, and a 'knowledge' of Tony Robins. These were not random acts, these were acts of awareness, support, and help that came at me on two or three occasions every day! From many different cultures! What is it that allows for this amidst the other many who don't seem to be aware or care?
What I do know, is that while we are trying to manage our everyday lives and the huge philosophical, moral and spiritual questions that hang over us, I am reminded of the practice of awareness, and kindness…and to do it again and again and again… Hope lives! Now that can sustain me…what about you?