Thursday, 18 August 2011

July/August Fast and furious times


How do you make sense of a world when in one moment we can be witnessing the shaving of the Hubbard Glacier melting before our eyes with thunderous cracking and applause from our cruising friends to hearing the death of thousands of children in drought and war torn Somalia then to witness the looting and arson on our streets at home. What’s going on?

It was ever thus – the rich tapestry of life is coloured and sent to us at a pace through modern communication and the need to know where in the world the latest sensation and or devastation is happening.

In todays fast moving turbulent debt ridden environment we need clear, calm and sensible leadership providing positive role models at every level. Where are these role models?

Politicians ? Fraud – expenses – can we trust their messages tainted with knee jerk populist reactions?

Police? In bed with the media – dealing day in and day out with the dark side of humanity – handling the riots on day one and two – where is the leadership

Media – say no more!

If you read the comments on the Why the riots discussion page ;
you will hear the message loud and clear – the positive role models of leadership has to start in the home – Parents.

As Tony Bell says

it is a failure by us to communicate with our children about what's right and wrong in life and then to model that behaviour. Censorship , 9 0'clock watersheds, curfews, bigger prisons are the guaranteed to fail solutions loved by quick fix merchants. Something which many of us had in our up-bringing has not been handed down and that is - the self discipline to say No - to walk away - to choose not to watch something bad, not to do something bad, not to be someone bad. Aspiration begins in the home, the place where society begins.

I think this quote is so right

"Children Learn What They Live. If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight. If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy. If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilty. If a child lives with impropriety, he learns to feel shame. If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement he learns confidence If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate. He a child lives with fairness, he learns justice. If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith. If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself. If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world. With what is your child living?"

I believe more investment is needed to help families and communities live together in more harmonious and respectful way. Attention has to be given to the areas of low unemployment, high gang culture and communities that feel shut off and neglected. I believe skilled facilitation with a relatively small budget in partnership with the more wealthy businesses in the area could make a significant difference. The theme being – Respect our homes, our communities and our selves.

Some of this work is going on and there are excellent examples of success eg

This is all after the event and we must find a way of ensuring respect for each other and ourselves become an integral part of our way of life form a very early age – Parenting classes, family dynamics and behaviour, belief and pride in who we are and what we can achieve must be an established priority in today’s education starting in early years and continuing through to at least age 18. This to some extent is seen in the citizenship and social, emotional and environmental studies but only as a side subject and not integrated into every aspect of family and school life.

So many experts will be giving there opinion and many will be at risk of making it over complex – would it be possible to have a common sense committee – so proposals for change can be presented to a group of parents and cross section of people who can give straight forward feedback as to whether any new policies or approaches will work or not.

Oh – and if possible

All politicians to sign up to honesty and ethics clause regards there behaviour.

All journalists to agree not to act in a way that may be construed as illegal or dishonest.

All police officers at every level to be audited by an outside agency to question custom and practice.

I know – lets be realistic – but we can but dream and continue to be a better place to live and to achieve this we all must take responsibility for what happens in our world and ask ourselves – what can I do to help?

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