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SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY – Creating the Unity Consciousness
If you are a teacher, parent, health care worker, shop assistant, service worker or even if you’re a young person at school/college/uni, have you ever been asked the question: Are you socially responsible for the wellbeing of the people in your home, class, workplace, or wider community?
The answer, is most likely not and I believe it’s time we asked “why not”!
We all feel alone sometimes. For most of us it’s pretty normal to have days when we’re going through something hard and we feel alone in that. For a lot of people it’s one of those uncomfortable days, that you’re very pleased to be able to move on from as life turns a positive corner and takes you back to your usual reality where you don’t feel that way any longer. You somehow find your way back to connection and a sense of belonging.
For some people it’s more often than “some days”....it becomes their norm. Feeling left out, or socially disconnected is something that just keeps happening. It feels awful and you start to think there must be something the matter with you. You start to blame yourself, or you start to blame others. The blame does nothing but make you feel worse, so you come to accept that this is just how life is going to be for you. You suck it up and get on with what you have to do and go it alone.
As human beings we can only really do that for so long before something in our wiring starts to go a little wrong. The reason is, that we are social beings. We need connection. This begins at birth. Humans are dependent upon our carers for survival for more than a decade of our lives. In the animal kingdom, this just isn’t the case. It’s only through being loved by other people that care for us, that we not only thrive, but survive! Without love and care, a human baby will not survive. Without love and care, a young child, a teenager, and even adults, will never reach their full potential in life, or even come close. In fact, without love and care, we humans wouldn’t make it at all, on our own.
If this is the way humans are built – as social beings who depend upon each other for survival, health and wellbeing, are we then socially responsible for taking care of one another? In the family context, most people will of course tell you that the answer is yes! But we don’t all live life, all day, every day in the family environment. We send our babies off to childcare, our young children off to school all day, (at a mere four years of age), our teens off to learning institutions or work and out into the greater community and we expect them to navigate their way through, hoping for the best.
But the best doesn’t happen very often. If you speak to a group of mothers and fathers whose children are currently attending prep or primary school, one of the biggest sources of stress in their family life will be the social struggles of their children in these environments outside the family. We send our precious children (and ourselves) out into the wide world, hoping they/we will be accepted and befriended and treated with care and love and have a (mainly) positive experience, but for most families, this is not their predominant experience. Most families are finding themselves navigating some pretty stressful and even scary problems in their children’s social lives. It’s often the stuff that no one wants to talk about because it’s filled with a sense of hopelessness. No one knows what to do about it!
Teachers have their hands full and are often running on empty themselves. They may find support in colleagues going through similar challenges and the shared experience of hardship fuels collegial relationships. It can be the same in business. Often the best-feeling relationships we share with co-workers are the ones where we can confide in one another about our difficulties and experience a sense of connection through similar lived experiences. These relationships tend to take on a more familial type quality of caring. Without them, and the sense that we are cared for, we cannot thrive.
If we all experience this, if this is how we are wired, then why, as the incredibly intelligent beings that we are, have we not figured out how to build communities that are safe places for our young ones to learn and grow and develop. Why are schools and workplaces still the most unsafest places (psychologically) that our children have to find their way through? Why are there anti-bullying policies, yet there are no social responsibility policies?
We need to learn how to become socially responsible people. We need to learn how to care of one another better. We need to learn the skills of friendship and we need to put these skills at the top of our list of learning priorities!
We as a society need to prioritise social wellbeing. We need to create safety and belonging and a culture of inclusivity. We need to unify as a human species and make the changes to our learning and working spaces which place health and wellbeing at the pinnacle of our day’s achievements. We need to work together to foster a sense of mastery as social beings and we need to celebrate those who excel at it.
This kind of shift can’t be achieved through tokenistic or bolt-on wellbeing programs. It needs to happen at the heart of every individual person. The answer lies in the cultivation of kindness towards other people. The answer lies in teaching our children that other people matter. They matter because you matter. If we want to learn and work in environments that feel safe, we all need to care for each other. We all need to practice being kind towards each other.
Here are some practical ideas for being the change and creating a kinder and more caring world for ourselves and our children.
Slow down and take a few breaths
Connect to your heart by placing your hand on your chest (this one really helps!)
Practice putting yourself in other people’s shoes
Ask if/how you can help someone out
Offer ways to lighten someone else’s load
Ask how someone is and really listen for their answer
Be a safe person to talk to
Practice the idea that we are all in this together
Think of ways to connect people in your circle who may get along well
Share your joy with others
Be generous with your time and resources
Give others the opportunity to show they care for you too
See the bigger picture, think globally
These are just a few ways to cultivate a unity consciousness in our world. It’s somewhere to start. By no means is it meant to be an exhaustive list. We are creative beings and we come up with wonderful ways of helping others in times of crisis. It’s time that we started to mindfully create this culture of kindness and caring in the everyday! It’s time to take social responsibility and to create a world we want to live in!
If this post resonates, please share with your friends and family! Even better, read through the list of practical ideas at the dinner table or at bedtime with your kids. Lets create a better world together!
Much love and gratitude,
Founder of MYSHA Therapy