What are your dreams? What would you like to achieve in your life?
In today’s society there seems to be a continual strain on us to live our lives in a consumerism driven way, being influenced by technological advances and the media. At the time of writing this article, a news item stated:
“The scale of the UK’s obsession with the internet has been laid bare by a new study showing that the ever increasing amount of time we spend online is leading to lost sleep, neglected housework and less time spent with friends and family.” (Guardian UK – 4 August 2016)
What are your dreams? What would you like to achieve in your life? What do you want those whom you love to achieve?
No matter what our age we all have aspirations; yet for many reasons we don’t achieve them.
Do you have problems with ‘stick-ability’ or completing a task that you started? How many of us have a load of “unfinished projects”, whether they are craft works, DIY jobs or a maybe a degree that we started but never finished. Not being able to see things through to completion seems to be something that so many of us are guilty of nowadays.
Society has and is still changing and we are in danger of becoming a ‘me-society’. Is this leading to us not achieving our true potential not just as individuals but also as members of local and global communities.
Recently I went on a camping holiday (I know this isn’t everyone’s idea of relaxation!). In essence a campsite becomes a mini community of people from all walks of lives, a microcosm of society. I couldn’t help but notice that there is an increase in the use of windbreaks to mark out peoples ‘territory’, not the old fashioned brightly coloured beach type windbreaks but much taller ones. Obviously some are used for purposes of retain family pets and of course privacy – I must say here that there are valid reasons for wind breaks and I’m not criticising their practical use indeed they are an invaluable piece of equipment when used as a ‘wind break’.
But is this an example of being in danger of cutting ourselves off from others, even to the point of not even greeting people with a ‘good morning’. Maybe you are thinking well that’s camping but does the same not happen in our neighbourhoods. How many of us know anything at all about our neighbours?
A recent TV programme showed a community garden set up on the site of the old Swansea City football ground ‘Vetch’. “It’s no secret that safe open space, opportunities to engage in informal exercise and a green and welcoming environment makes a difference for people’s well-being.” (South Wales Evening Post).
I never fail to be impressed by people who work together at tasks and as to how each one and collectively they benefit from learning from each other’s company and sharing of skills.
Engaging together isn’t new but it may be a dying art. Are we content to become isolated people or should we strive to become more involved/engaged in our communities?
You as an individual have the ability to contribute to the society where you live.
Kindness and caring can be contagious. When we see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or we are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires us to be kinder ourselves. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to the next, influencing the behaviour of people who never saw the original act. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier, more trusting local community – read ‘do things for others‘.
In the Bible it is written: “If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbour. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-9 – New Revised Standard Version)
(This article by Rev Sally Mason was originally published as part of St David’s Messenger in September 2016)