New year, new humanity

The New Year has entered more with a splash than a bang, where I am, as wet, winter weather cascades around me. It doesn’t feel like the most inspiring time to make resolutions or feel that things will change for the better, but it is also a good time to take stock and plan for the future in the best way that we can.

Having worked in retail over the holiday season, I saw all forms of human life at work – quite literally. I interacted with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. There’s nothing like the craziness of holiday shopping to bring out the vast array of human emotions – anxiety, frustration, exhaustion, but thankfully, elements of patience and kindness too.

It’s these last two that I want to carry over to the new year. Let’s learn to be more patient with one another and more forgiving of imperfections. People will make mistakes – it’s a natural part of being human. And while computers are potentially quicker and more efficient, they won’t greet you with a smile or a personal conversation. As computers continue to replace humans at an alarming rate, let’s savour our myriad of individual interactions while they last.

And what a difference a little bit of kindness can make to someone who may be having a bad day or is lonely and in need of contact. It’s easy and costs nothing to smile and show a bit of empathy to another. There are times you may need it too.

Everyone is talking about a buzz word for 2023. I think the one we most need in this world is ‘share’. We need to learn how to share more with each other, and with all the creatures of this world, to mete our resources more equitably, more fairly, and with more generosity and compassion.

This planet is home to more of us now than ever – human, plant and animal species. Let’s work on improving the way we live together and to be more mindful, respectful and more compassionate to one another. Perhaps then we will be inspired to focus on turning the Earth’s problems around and maybe, just maybe, this year will be the start of a brighter and healthier future for us all.

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