A change in my journey

Being a management consultant, trainer and executive coach much of my writing has been to  do with organizations. But in the last few weeks I have seen and heard of situations that made me re-think of my own writing how can I create awareness and share knowledge which will enhance the quality of life.  My future blogs will evolve around real life situations and experiences. 

while Iam still trying to comprehend the  events of my last blog my heart is filled with sadness as I realized how little we care. not one comment no one had even bothered to read it. I also uploaded it to my facebook page nothing not a like not a comment.  Not a single idea shared even though I asked for ideas to be shared. The blog was on teenage suicide and the prevention of it.  But that has not deterred  me as my heavy heart kept asking the question “how can I make a difference?”

I believe we are born altruistic and over the years get nurtured out of our altruism for many reasons. I also believe that we still have goodness inside of us but are more reluctant to let it show. As I see the number of people still working to make human and animal lives better I still believe that there is hope. And my writing will from now on be an appeal to the goodness inside of you. 

It seems funny but it is the ideal time for change it is the month of December the month of HOPE and JOY. as the christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, it also is the closing of an old year and opening the doors to the new year. And for me I am driven by the belief that I have a larger role to play in society. In the belief that every life is worth saving be it human or animal.  

While I waited for the ideas to pour in on how to save young lives I decided to take the one course of action I hoped could bring about a better understanding of young lives and support them in their hour of need.  I have aways been a Girl Guide at heart something my mom instilled in my heart and mind and which took deep root over the years as I took my promise and tried hard to live it. 

To those who have never had the opportunity to experience it the promise we make is as follows; 

‘I promise on my honour to do my best, to do my duty to my religion and country. To help others at all time and to obey the guide law..’

The laws too are beautiful and are meaningful and if only they were a way of life to all the world would have been a better place.  The Guide law formulated by Lady Baden Powell seem even more apt today than it was in the day they were written and are as follows;

  1. A Guide is honest, reliable and can be trusted.
  2. A Guide is loyal.
  3. A Guide is considerate and helpful at all times.
  4. A Guide is a sister to every other Guide.
  5. A Guide is friendly and courteous.
  6. A Guide is compassionate to all living things.
  7. A Guide respects authority.
  8. A Guide is courageous and faces all situations with understanding.
  9. A Guide uses resources wisely.
  10. A Guide respects herself and seeks to understand all human beings.

To me these laws have kept me kind, compassionate and empathetic towards all animals. It has made me a better global citizen. 

The Moto which is “BE PREPARED” is still relevant.   The one idea that haunts me is how can we reach the children specially the ones who have no support system at home. where the communication between children and parents are strained.  

In a light bulb moment my mind says “What if teachers became the back bone of the support system?  But how do we reach so many schools and Iam just one person? “

My idea hinges around the Girl Guide Association of Sri Lanka .  If we can make it a community project train up a pool of resources who can approach the schools through the guide company and train the teachers on essential counseling first aid.  Wouldn’t that be our best chance to reach  as many teachers as possible. We could even take it further to community guiding companies that the Association has. The solution seems compelling but there is so much to be done. The hope that we can become a candle to lives in where the candle is fast going out. 

There is much to be done but I have crossed the first hurdle the association has agreed to support this project. Now to find funding Iam praying that many organizations will be willing to fund the endeavor. That the different associations already involved in suicide prevention will support us in this journey.  That we can make every life count. 

Iam excited with the hope and the passion burning inside of me.  That my purpose is taking more meaning.  Its a journey for all of us not for one of us so we can create a better world with a future generation that are better at problem solving and decision making,  people who are empathic and caring and lives that are purposeful and meaningful. A world where people are more tolerant of differences. A world that is mindful instead of mindless.

When Society fails

it had already been a long day of teaching and I was looking forward to a quiet evening but alas that was not to be.   Messages going too and fro among daughter and her  class mates and then a few calls revealed that their class mate had passed away. And given that she lived not too far away and my daughter had plans to go to school the next day we decided to attend the funeral the same evening.  As the calls and messages were exchange there was talk about her having leukemia and a rumour that she had committed suicide.  I could feel chill go down my spine this was too close to home.  My heart sank my daughter is only 15 and the girl who had passed away only turned 15 on the day of the passing away.  How could life have been so cruel as to grab her life this young.  if the leukemia had killed her I could accept that it was a part of life but suicide I could not fathom it felt like a vibrant rose had withered early plucked away from the family.  Many question kept going on in my mind. 

With all this information reeling in my mind I decided to take my daughter to the funeral    we ended up in the child aunts house where the mother was crying in shock among the hush hush discussions it was revealed that she had truly committed suicide.  While the question still lingers as to ‘why’ my bigger question is how do we avoid it?  Her cousin committed suicide 6 months ago in the same manner is what I hear from the neighbors. While it seems juicy gossip my bigger question is how could society have failed so badly to identify and support these young lives?  What the priest said in his sermon made so much sense. When its time to go we all have to go but we shouldn’t plan how we go and he was talking about suicide. Years back I would have been very intolerant with suicide cause I had this belief that suicide was cowardly but now my world view has changed. Iam more empathic more kinder towards those struggling to make it through the day.   Its easy to gossip and to condemn, to say ‘how can they be so selfish, how will those they leave behind face society’.  my question is if society was so judgmental why didn’t they become more mindful and therefore spot these lives that were struggling to make it through the day and support them? 

Aren’t we as society responsible to watch out for others and be altruistic?  I watch out for my kids stay involved in their life eves drop on their sibling chats and the chats with friends. But I too need to do more I am torn with guilt that I hadn’t used the power of knowledge that I had gained over the years in order to create the knowledge that is required to watch out, to seek out, to spot and to support young lives struggling to make it through. 

In an extrovert driven society where the loud, the social, the right look, the right brand, the right size, the right background seems to win how have  we become so blind to the fact that there are introverts who also need to be heard to be made to feel comfortable in their skin accepted and appreciated. I feel its time with stepped up as adults to create awareness about bullying, about mental health, about sadness, about the loss of support systems, the struggle with loneliness, divorce, & its impact on children, substance abuse, self confidence and self acceptance.  We can no longer turn a blind eye saying my child is okay everything else is immaterial to me.  What we must be aware is all our children are venerable and we are all responsible. 

I have got no fool proof plan but I know we need to start as parents and reach out to the teachers so we become the guardians of young lives.