Be A Little ‘Sadder’

Disclaimer: this post could be seen as a bit controversial. I just want to begin by saying that I’m not blaming anyone, I’m simply sharing my experiences and opinions and, as always, feel totally free to comment below if you disagree. I would love to hear your thoughts.

In our society so many positive things are labeled as negatives. Putting effort into something or taking it seriously is seen as ‘lame’ and having a dream and putting all your heart into following it is seen as ‘sad’.

I have had many experiences of people telling me that something I’ve done or made or that something I strongly believe in is ‘cringy’. Who are they to tell me that?

They don’t understand the motivation and dedication it takes to get up and go to work every day of your summer holidays to fund for something you love to do. They don’t understand the reason that you take your education seriously and the mindset of doing something to the best of your ability because you learn from it and you can be proud of what you’ve achieved.  To do something to help someone else because we need more kindness in this world.  To put your soul into making our society a better place to live in when you could just care about yourself.  To them that’s uncool. It’s lame. It’s sad.

They don’t understand what it’s like to love something so much that it hurts. To think of it during every moment, to dream of it day and night. To want to dedicate your life to it. To be willing to work hard and sacrifice to get where it is that you want to go.

I look at those people who call me sad or lame and I think about whose future looks brighter. Mine or theirs? I feel sad for people who don’t take anything seriously, who believe that life is a joke because that is what their life will be. One big joke. We will be following our dreams, making a difference and living our lives the way we have created them and they will have missed out on that because of their ignorant perceptions.

I feel sad and angry. People’s lives could be so much more. They could be so much better.

So be a little ‘sadder’, don’t be afraid of being called ‘lame’. All I’m asking is that we change the way we think a little bit, rewind and ask ourselves ‘Why are we calling that lame? Why is that sad?’ Often the things we dismiss or label are priceless, beautiful things that we can learn a lot from if we really take the time.

Please comment and share! I believe that this is a really important issue for our society to become aware of and I would love to hear what you think? 

 

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Kindness Is Always A Choice

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Travelling round the world on a bright yellow motorbike relying entirely on the kindness of strangers? “Impossible!” I hear you cry “Crazy!” Well, that’s exactly what Leon Legothetis has done. He’s made a documentary about it too, Kindness Diaries.

You know when you watch something and it just sets off a whole load of exciting thoughts in your head, like an explosion? When one leads to another and suddenly you have this brand new and amazing idea that you can’t stop thinking about? When you start to write the words in your mind and imagine what they’ll look like on paper? When you sit down to type them up on your blog to inspire others like it inspired you?

Well, that’s what I’m going to do. Listen up because I’m about to share an incredible story with you……

In short, Leon was a successful businessman who realised that life wasn’t all about money and self. So he decided to go off around the world experiencing human kindness and paying it back where he could. He bought an old motorcycle that he nicknamed Kindness 1 and off he went, with no money, food or belongings.

After seeing this program it made me form an idea I’m calling ‘world kindness’.

Watching Leon and Kindness 1 in The Kindness Diaries made me realise just how simple kindness really is. It all boils down to just one choice, to be or not to be, that is the question. There are no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ about it.

In that moment you can think of yourself or you can think of others, the thoughts in your head and the decision that you make are the only determining factor of your kindness.

Anyone can make the choice. People can surprise themselves by just pushing everything self related to one side and saying yes. 

It can be quite a challenge to put human nature aside and go against your instincts, but there is kindness in all of us. We just have to let it take control. It’s that choice thing again!

The effects of world kindness could be unbelievable. All through history, war and greed have dominated. People have fought and killed over power and riches. But if every person on the planet decided to be kind perhaps we could break that pattern of thinking about self and make the future look a thousand times brighter.

We could defy the urge in us to think only of ourselves. We could stop arguing and fighting. We could start sharing instead of taking. We could achieve so much if we worked together. People would be happy and content. Because when you pay out kindness, it always comes back to you.

Imagine the world I have just described to you and remember the cost: just one, simple choice.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Your feedback and comments mean so much and I always want to discuss things with others.  Different opinions and ideas are always welcome!  

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Sita Brahmachari’s Beautiful Books

 

I love to write, and to use words to weave a web of stories that reveal facts about our world and about what we can do to change it, but I also love to read. I always have. One of my favourite authors is Sita Brahmachari. She writes about real issues and real life whilst still managing to capture a beautiful novel on the paper.

Two of her books are written in diary form, from the point of view of a young girl from London called Mira Levenson. The first, Artichoke Hearts, is about Mira’s Nana, who is an activist and an artist, but is dying of cancer. It is heart-wrenchingly sad, but messages of hope and love are riddled through it and they lift it up and make it one of the best books I’ve ever read. Sita, the author, also talks about bullying and also about Mira’s relationship with a boy in her class who survived the Rwandan Genocide. I learned so much and it really inspired me to try even harder to make a difference.

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The second is called Jasmine Skies and Mira is older in this book. She is of Indian heritage so she decides to fly half way across the world to discover the culture and customs of the country she knows so little about. She is not prepared for the huge amount of poverty, inequality and human rights abuses she will witness, working at her Aunt’s refuge for street kids she realises what she wants to do with her life. This is a quote from the book:

I’ve seen real poverty and homelessness in London, but it’s not on the same scale. When you see it in pictures you don’t appreciate how extreme the difference between rich and poor can be, though they’re living side by side. I feel a heaviness in my gut that I can’t seem to shake off. Every day here someone is tapping on my conscience and saying “Mira Levenson, this is not fair. What are you going to do about it?” and the truth is I don’t know.

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The last book that I have read is Red Leaves, which I was given for my thirteenth birthday just over a week ago. It is a really intriguing and amazing book. It opened my eyes to so much. Homelessness, war, refugees, divorce, religion, journalism, kids who live in care.
Aisha sought refuge in London from war-torn Somalia when she was ten, traumatised and unable to speak, she was alone in the world and missing her family. Now she’s twelve and she lives with her foster carer. She is starting to feel safe and loved again when her carer suggests that she is adopted by a Somalian family. She feels betrayed and runs away to a nearby wood.
Zak is angry and sad and confused. His parents are divorced, his brother won’t speak to him, his Mother is a journalist in conflict zones. When she goes missing, it’s the final straw. He becomes tangled up in a mess of the past and present. Somehow he stumbles into the wood were Aisha is sheltering.
Iona lives on the streets, with her dog. She’s rude and sarcastic and tough, but underneath she’s hurt. She lies about her age and won’t accept help, but she was the victim of a broken family. She too seeks safety and security in the woods.
Elder is seen as a dotty old homeless woman, a free spirit. But she has a story too. She’s not just crazy. She cares about the children and watches over them as they begin to form friendships, forgive and forget, learn about each other.
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I would recommend any of Sita’s books. Not only do they help you understand the world, they fill you with a desire to make it a better place.
Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or if you’d like to! Has there been a book that you’ve read that has really inspired you? If so, why?