Learning to be more humankind

Beyonce has a way with her words. They are not just lyrics on a page, they form a message – usually to empower the unpopular – that resonates with her audience. “Life offers lemons –  I make lemonade.”

This blog isn’t about lemons, nor is it about lemonade. Instead it’s about the very boring, very mundane – here and now, the tap water if you like. Firstly, I would like you to think about what choices you are going to make today and what consequences for others may follow.

The right decisions are not always the popular ones. Just the other day I went to help a lady who was clearly disabled and was having problems walking over the pebbles on the beach. The popular ones around us were drinking beer, ignoring this situation and focusing on their inner circles. Perhaps its because I don’t like inner circles or the fact that I saw her discomfort that led me to help – turns out she had a sharp stone in her sandals that she couldn’t remove. She felt ashamed to ask for help until someone helped her. Does that not say anything about the unequal society of today? Who knows how far she would have struggled before someone else helped. Would Beyonce – or any other celebrity – have stood up in that situation? Unless the media were watching from the sidelines to capture the good deed, I very much doubt it. That’s not me being deliberately cynical. I’m guilty, too, of misreading people who need help.

The coming Monday I was in London – a metropolis full to the brim of greed and selfish acts – my head down, smile hidden and speed walking towards the Victoria Line when it dawned on me… Just 30 minutes before that very moment, I had written a pledge that I would help as many people as I could that day. Not only did I write this, I posted it on social media. The air in London is contagious. The antisocial elements are all too easy to consume, it seemed.

I managed 12 good deeds that day after having a word with myself on the Victoria Line. From helping a disabled man’s carer with his luggage, to directing tourists towards Trafalger Square to simply holding the door open for guests staying at the Corinthia London (without a thank you – they were clearly used to the service). Did it make me feel better about myself? No… Was that the aim of my pledge? No… Let’s please just all try a bit harder to be human. Help other people because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. The very core of human instinct – the characteristic that makes us beautiful – is compassion. Our jobs, stresses of life and indivertible obstacles – big or small – challenge that quality. Trust me, I get that it is impossible to be 100 per cent selfless in every decision life asks us to make, I just think that we can do more. Why do we wait for something to go wrong before we sort out our problems? The irony is that those who receive the worst news imaginable soon learn to value life the most. What is that all about? Don’t wait until too late. I have a very fitting statement hanging in my bedroom. It reads, “Have hope, be strong, laugh loud and play hard. Smile often, dream big, remember you are loved and never ever give up.”

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