My belief is that, actually, this whole mess down here on earth only holds together via small acts of decency and kindness. We tend to overlook or minimize the effect of the small things, but that is really what a culture is – that collection of thousands of small, habitual, decent moves that collectively make life somewhat predictable and “normal.” [Read more…] about How kindness can save the world
Over the past couple of days, I took a training course in basic mental health first aid. The course was pioneered by Australia and subsequently adapted and developed for Canada by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The Commission qualifies trainers to present a standardized course irrespective of the service provider. The course I took was offered by St. John’s Ambulance. In the context of that organization, the concept of mental health first aid is easy to grasp. Even if we’re not trained, we all know something about first aid. Trained laypersons help people they come across who are in need physically. With mental health first aid, people are trained to respond and help others in mental discomfort or distress, including calling for emergency medical services, or providing hope and optimism in active listening and referral. It’s just such a wonderful expression of a value I hold very dear: we are here to help each other.
The same value resonated strongly for me in watching this video that I recently came across:
The heart of the issue is the very notion that work and life are separate, let alone oppositional. This paradigm sets us on a hard road, often feeling guilty and stressed that we are falling short, at work and at home. And at a time when there is heightened awareness and attention on the precarious nature of mental health and wellbeing in our workplaces, perhaps it is timely for us to see this aspiration for what it is; an additional pressure, another thing we are not getting right, rather than as intended, the key to leading a healthier existence.
A different paradigm is one where we view work as one element of our full experience of life. Life being the whole picture, the big vessel that holds all aspects of our being and our doing, not simply the opposite of work, or all that which is not work.