Archive | March, 2013

Open your eyes to the ‘Amazingness’ of those unlike you

21 Mar

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I’ve always been aware of how nowadays many of us are really bad for mostly hanging around with people just like us.  Especially in London and especially in media us young folk tend to hang around with other young folk and get on with all the stuff that young folk do.  Spending our days working hard and playing hard together and when we’re not doing that, following each other’s lives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It’s only when I became pregnant that I realised the implications of this.  Unlike in the ‘olden days’, we don’t mix so much with different generations, those from different backgrounds, those with different lives.  We don’t live on top of each other any more, our communities are weaker and we don’t help each other out as much.  This has led us to have very little understanding of each others’ lives or appreciation of different people’s qualities and difficulties.  Until we become one of them that is.  And then we just wish people would have some bloody consideration!

This all means that until we’re one ourselves we don’t appreciate just how hectic and frustrating life is as a working Mum.  Until we get there ourselves do we know quite how much elderly people need our company and support.  Or unless we are close to a disabled person do we have any idea of just how much strength it takes to do the sort of stuff that the rest of us take for granted.

But do you know what, we’re missing out!  Mixing with different generations, with those to have had different experiences, who’ve taken different paths or have a different view of the world can teach us so much!  They can provide different perspectives, offer a wealth of life experience and open our eyes to all sorts of things.

The Amazings is a project set up to change all this and specifically to encourage us to learn from our elders once again.  To benefit from the rich, valuable and rare skills that they possess and in my mind, to help us value and appreciate them a little more.  You can choose from a range of classes, all run by the over 50’s, including a drumming masterclass with Phil Collins’ teacher, curtain-making, music marketing, bike maintenance and philosophy.  A lady called Fiona can even teach you to see the world through the eyes of children and help you connect with them better in her ‘Understanding the Stresses of Childhood’ course.  What an incredible idea!!

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Believing in the importance of this more than ever right now..

16 Mar

Believing in this more than ever right now..

Source: Brittany Maki

Can art change the world?

15 Mar

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JR’s ‘Women are heroes’ project in Favela Providencia, Rio

I haven’t posted for quite some time.  And although this week I wrote two or three drafts to explain why and to start writing again, I just wasn’t happy with any of them.  I was either complaining about how tough it is to be a working Mum, or moaning about how exhausted I am after dealing with illness-after-illness.  And if the last couple of months has taught me anything, it’s that a calm state of mind and a positive attitude is the only way to get through these phases with my sanity, relationship and well everything really, in tact.

So I’m not going to talk about it at all.  Instead I’m only going to focus on the things that make me feel happy, inspired, balanced, calm.  For good.

With that in mind I thought I’d share a video of this man I absolutely love.  He’s one of the most inspiring discoveries I’ve ever made – French Artist, JR.  In this video, which he uses to announce his incredible project – Inside Out, he asks ‘Can art change the world?’

Now since I had Nancy, I see her in the face of every vulnerable person or cat (!) I see.  I can’t help but think of the woman (or mama cat) somewhere out there who thinks about them constantly and whose greatest wish is for them to be safe and happy.  Someone who, like me, wants to believe that the world is a great place; full of love, opportunity and fun that means their child’s future will be great.  That all that is wrong with the world can be fixed.  That people are inherently good, if sometimes a little ignorant or misguided.

TED 2011 TALK – ENGLISH SUBTITLES from SOCIAL ANIMALS on Vimeo.

JR says “Art is not supposed to change the world.  Or practical things.  But to change perceptions.  The fact that art cannot change things makes it a neutral place for exchange and discussion which then enables you to change the world.”

So what this reminds me is that moaning gets you nowhere.  Being angry changes nothing.  In fact, this negative energy is most likely to push people away from you and your issue.  If you really want to change it, channel that energy into something that makes people stop and think.  As JR says ‘what we see changes who we are’.  Art, creativity, ideas draw people in and make them to come to some kind of conclusion on their own.  Don’t be angry, don’t spell it out for people, but appeal to their curiosity and you can make a change.

So now to use Inside Out to change the perceptions around working Mums?!