I have been in a downturn the last little while, getting into a slump and not understanding why. Perhaps because I was running from the one project to the next, or perhaps because I was juggling too many things at once, who knows? Then, because sometimes we need to slow down and reflect, it hit me. I got sick. First it was a flu/cold for 2 weeks, which kept me on my back for 5 days. 2 weeks later it was the stomach flu, with violent vomiting for 18 hours.
I realized that quiet time was important. I had to slow down and look around me. If I didn’t take care of myself, I couldn’t help those I wanted to help the most – our youth. The same goes for parents and teachers. Being busy all the time means that something will be missed. The little signs a child would show to tell they were struggling, will not be noticed, because of busyness.
Society has become a smorgasbord of activities, events and social media. People don’t know how to become still anymore. The times where families sat together at night after supper in front of radios listening to stories, sports games around the world or the news are gone. Instead, those together times as families have been replaced by a flurry of sports activities, parents driving their kids all over. The busier a child could be after school, the better. At the water coolers at work people are talking about how they have become taxi drivers, how they spend evenings taking their kids to these activities. It has become a badge of honour to talk about all the extra busyness.
How much time do we as a society spend being still? Reflecting on the day’s activities, our lives? How often do we give thanks for what we have? To have a roof over our heads, heat or cool air, clean water, food on the table and clothes are basic necessities, yet there are millions without those. Do we appreciate what we have? Do we complain because that’s what we have been taught to do? Do we feel it’s our right? Do we feel righteous, because the ones without basics don’t know better?
So-and-so is getting a divorce, or is addicted to drugs, or lost their job, or is battling a debilitating disease, or has temper outbursts, taking it out on their kids. What would you do when you see a child whose parent is bullying them at every one of the sports events or activities you take your child to? What would you do if you knew someone is struggling, and with them the children as well?
Children do not care about flashiness, or fancy clothes. They want to be loved. They want to feel safe. Their basic needs are simple. Yet, do we recognize when a child is struggling? Or do we believe the school when they tell us our children are just looking for attention when they act out, they are drama?
Become still. Quiet. Reflect. Let’s teach our young generation how to breathe. Let’s show them how to be still. In the moment of stillness we find our wisdom. We find our solutions. And we grow. We become stronger. We are able to help our youth.