This week, my youngest daughter re-found her Dr Seuss books and I was reminded of that beautiful quote ‘to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.’
As humans we have a boundless capacity to learn and grow. As Dr Seuss also reminds us ‘The more that you read, the more that you know! The more than you learn, the more places you’ll go!’ On the other hand, we also have a hard-wired mechanism to survive and therefore cope with, well, rather a lot. So whilst we can transform, we can also get entrenched in well-worn habits and patterns of behaviour that no longer serve us. After all, two-thirds of the neurons in the amygdala in our brain are tasked with busily seeking out bad news! That’s not going to have helped us a whole lot this year, thereby creating quite some tension and a definite need for us to reinforce the nicer moments and the good news.
‘Panta rhei’ means everything flows or change is the only constant. An aphorism coined, I believe, by Heraclitus about 3000 years ago.
In other words, nothing remains as it is, something I think we’d all robustly agree on this year.
As we bid adieu to 2020, some of us have waved goodbye to much loved family and friends, livelihoods and activities, and some have endured gross inequalities. In a tiny moment of looking ahead, perhaps we can ponder on becoming, and the endless possibilities that are there if we choose to look, however hard that may be.
Just about everything ‘normal’ has been turned on its head, or ceased to exist, but connections, be they personal or professional, have changed and deepened (not all of them granted), but that has to be an upside. Those magical moments of bonding with others, that perhaps in another year wouldn’t have happened, that make us feel human and alive. As my favourite Dr Seuss quote goes ‘Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind. ‘