Today I’m thinking… that we just don’t do enough, you know? Not, we don’t chase our dreams hard enough, or are so busy we don’t have time for other things enough, though thinking about it, maybe they’re things we don’t do enough of as well; the list is probably endless.
But what I meant today, at least, when I started typing, anyway, is that we don’t do enough for other people. Now, yes, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who’d huff and disagree at that, listing all the things they do do enough of for people, and that’s great, really it is; we need more people doing stuff for other people. But the truth is, we don’t do enough, not anywhere near enough. Here’s what I’m thinking; I wonder how many of you agree.
Charity muggers, heart-wrenching TV ad campaigns, shock-tactic images in our Twitter feeds; constantly having people ask for help, ask for more, has succeeded in us doing the opposite. We don’t want to walk along our high streets and have clipboards shoved in our faces. We don’t want to have to skip channels because there’s a malnourished child, or dehydrated donkey, or any of the other reminders that there’s so much wrong with this world. The problem with all of these charities is they’re telling us we’re not doing enough: thank you for your generous donation – here’s a thousand other ways you need to be giving us more, and you’re heartless if you pass us by. The charity campaigns that don’t have us looking away are the subtle ones, the ones that manage to tug on my heartstrings without making me feel like I’m evil for not having the finances to help. They’re the ones encouraging us harder to do something, so that collectively we’re doing enough.
Celebrities, waxing lyrical about helping constantly yet living these lavish lifestyles we can’t afford to live ourselves; they piss a lot of people off, because how can you continually ask for people with less than you to help those with even less? Well, that’s tarnishing every celebrity with the same brush, now isn’t it? But here’s a couple of examples of celebrities helping out recently: Nicki Minaj helping a huge amount of students by paying off debts or helping with course fees on Twitter, and Stormzy donating a huge amount of money so a fan can go to Harvard. And yes, many of these celebrities have money beyond our wildest dreams that means they can donate vast amounts of cash that we can’t; but there are an enormous amount of celebrities that encourage by leading by example for the thing they care about – think Leo and his passion for the environment. Constantly encouraging us to take action so that collectively, we are doing enough.
But it doesn’t have to be about the big things, does it? We don’t need to make grand gestures to start making a change, do we? There are so many small things we can do to make a difference, and even if that difference is to one person, well. How do you know that by putting someone else in a good mood, by smiling, holding a door open, letting them go before you at the checkout because they’ve only got one item; how do you know they’re not going to take that little token of kindness and do something good themselves? Those small changes add up, and in doing so, they become enough.
I know; anyone who is regularly reading this Sunday Thinking post is probably rolling their eyes and thinking, ugh, they’re at it again; spewling about kindness being important, blah blah blah. Well guess what? We’ve got to start somewhere to make our world – our lives – other peoples’ lives better. So whilst I’m dead against having people shove positivity down anyone’s throat morning, noon and night, I will keep hammering on about kindness, because it’s important, it’s the most important thing we can be: think about how many unkind things you’ve said to yourself and how it’s ruined your entire day, and that’s impacted those around yo? Kindness for yourself, kindness for others, kindness all round; it is the foundation of how we get things done.
So, why did I say we’re not doing enough? That’s easy. Too often we listen to our inner critics and are cruel to ourselves for how we look, what we think we can’t do, decisions we’ve made. Too often we say things like, oh, well, I can’t help, but someone else can, or yes we need to make a change but I don’t know how and then get on with other things – guilty as charged, on so many occasions. And when we’re cruel to ourselves, we’re not helping us, and in turn, we’re not helping other people. We’re not doing enough when we do that to ourselves, so I suppose what I’m trying to say is, kindness has to start somewhere, even if it is to ourselves. That is how we can do enough, but starting that smallest of changes.
Alright, that’s enough social justicing (sort of) for one day; on with your own Sunday’s, I hope they’re good!