Optimistic

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Finally, January is here, and renewed hope is amongst us, wishing that this new year will be much better than the year we are just leaving behind. For many of us, 2020 cannot be compared to anything and it has been a major milestone in our lives, so by default 2021 will be better. The question remains though…will it be better?

The optimist in me says yes!!! After such assault the pandemic did to many of us – many of us have been robbed of something – I’m pretty sure we have learned a thing or two.

We have learned to adapt and to live with our families, accepting them just as they are without ifs and buts. We have learned to look ourselves in the mirror and recognise ourselves just as we are. I am certain that no one can say that they did not go from grief to disbelief and from anger to disheartening in a blink of an eye.

We will be able to say that we came out the other end with a sense of renewal and new strategies…I am wondering if we all can admit that this adaptation to the new reality left us exhausted. One way or the other during 2020 we discovered the little inner genie in us and taught us to recreate and reinvent ourselves.

I am hopeful this reinvention, this recreation will have a positive impact in children. We must agree that whilst we were all locked indoors, we were an example and children learn from examples (that’s the reason why “Do as I say but not as I do” never EVER work).

Hopefully children will be stronger and will face live challenges in a different way, because, hopefully, they will realise they have an inner little genie which can help them to get to grips with whatever life throws at them. The children of today are the adults who will have a solid set of moral values, which in turn will give them power to manage unexpected situations thanks to their abilities; the decisions they may take are a direct result of this new conscience.

I am hoping these adults will have a sense of community and solidarity towards other people wherever they may live.

For those who did the “End of Year Balance” and left aside some pending, some write offs and decided to just turn the page to a fresh start rest assured you are transferring some intangible balance: Resilience.

As I said before, I am an optimist at heart.

Optimista

Y finalmente llegó Enero y las ilusiones se renuevan de que este año será mejor que el anterior. Para muchos el año que hemos dejado atrás no tiene punto de comparación ya que seguramente ha sido un hito en nuestras vidas así que seguramente será mucho mejor. La pregunta redundante es… ¿Será mejor?

 Mi lado optimista me dice que sí. Que será mejor ya que después de este asalto que nos ha hecho la pandemia – donde a todos sin excepción nos ha robado algo – seguramente hemos aprendido algo.

Habremos aprendido a adaptarnos a estar con nuestras familias y otras personas con las cuales convivimos tal y como vienen, sin peros ni vueltas. Habremos aprendido a mirarnos al espejo y reconocernos tal y como somos.  No creo que nadie pueda decir que no pasó del dolor a la incredulidad y de la rabia a la desazón en pocos minutos.  Todos podremos decir que hemos salido renovados, con nuevas estrategias …me pregunto si todos podremos admitir que esta adaptación a la realidad nos ha dejado desgastados.

Este año en mayor o menor medida todos hemos descubierto al genio creativo que llevamos dentro, que ha dicho presente a la hora de recrearnos, de reinventarnos.

Me ilusiona pensar que esta reinvención, recreación será transmitida a los mas pequeños. Convengamos que mientras estuvimos todos encerrados hemos dado el ejemplo y a través de este es como los niños aprenden (por eso el Haz lo que yo digo, pero no lo que yo hago NUNCA funciona)

Los niños saldrán fortalecidos y encararán la vida de otra forma. Se darán cuenta de la genialidad que llevan consigo y sus capacidades para enfrentar cualquier situación que la vida les presente, que no es poco. Estos niños de hoy son los que serán adultos con un conjunto de valores morales sólidos, que a su vez les dará una sensación de poder manejar una situación inesperada gracias a sus propias habilidades y las decisiones que tomen serán un resultado directo de esta conciencia.

Con un poco de suerte serán adultos que tengan un sentido de comunidad, de solidaridad hacia los que le rodean y la comunidad en general en donde les toque habitar.

Para los que hicieron el famoso “balance de fin de año” y han dejado de lado una variedad de saldos, un montón de cuentas que no sabían que tenían pendientes y otras tantas cerradas y han decidido comenzar a foja cero con un negativo discreto, seguramente sabrán también que se han hecho de un saldo a favor que no es tangible: Resiliencia.

Como dije antes: Soy optimista.

All teachings…

All teachings are mere references.

The true experience is living your own life.

Then, even the holiest of words are only words.

Deng Ming-Dao

Todas las enseñanzas…

Todas las enseñanzas son meras referencias.

La verdadera experiencia es vivir la propia vida.

Entonces, aún las palabras mas sagradas serán solo eso, palabras.

Deng Ming-Dao
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Good girl!

Good boy!!!!

I heard a woman telling a boy. No need to say, I cringed. The expressions “good girl!” “good boy!” or the “good job!” “great job!” statements  directed to a child sometimes make me feel sick.

I tell you why: because for me “good boy” or “good job” are just plain attempts to show a positive attitude, some sort of positive input to encourage the receiver of this so-called compliment to carry on doing good.

In my view, when someone says to a girl “good girl”  because she did  something right is just an over used compliment. How about if instead of saying “good girl” we actually acknowledge what was done right in order to be judged “good”? How about if we say “Your drawing looks amazing! I like the way you used the yellow!” or “I’m so happy you helped to tidy up that corner of the room! Thanks to you it looks very nice”.

Instead of saying “good boy” or “great job” how about saying “Wow! Your homework looks great and I can tell you have put effort into it! I am looking forward to have a look at it”. Or how about saying “What you just did looks amazing!”.

I feel swapping the simple two-word expression for something a bit more elaborate, where it is mentioned what was done, compliment on a detail, it may make the receiver of this compliment feel more appreciated and cared for; it may make the giver focus 5 minutes of attention (even 2 minutes or perhaps 3!)  on the result and be present, truly present in body and mind to give appreciation and acknowledgement instead of a bland “judgement” with a “great job” or “good boy”.

Believe me, the receiver will feel it – particularly if we are talking about children – and they will feel appreciated, not judged.

And this is a key word. Appreciation. When you give a child a compliment such as “ I like the way you coloured the flower” instead of “great job” “looks good!” you are showing the child you put enough attention to her work to notice the different colours; this showing of appreciation can open the gates for the child to start to tell you a story about a flower; or her interpretation of the colours; or may prompt said child to go and paint many more flowers.

And many more flowers will imply the child exploring how to mix colours, how to use the brush how to apply pressure on the paper, how to hold the brush and what happens when you mix all the colours. This is pure learning!

Or it may mean for that child that someone does look at her drawings and make her feel cared for. Which is equally important if not more than the physical and intellectual  side of things.

When you ask a boy to tidy up and he does so and you acknowledge it with “I am grateful to you because you tidy up that corner and now it looks so much better” you are acknowledging  the boy, the person, and the effort  put into the task; you are showing you did put attention to what he has done, you did observed and you are appreciating him. It sounds so much richer and fuller than the bland “good boy” “great job” or “finally you did it”.

Shall I mention that chances are this boy will continue to tidy up to the best of his ability and it will do it perhaps even without being asked? Shall I start to list the amount of learning that goes into the tidy up? From spatial awareness to fine motor skills, you name it. Add to that he will feel appreciated, so a fabulous emotion is being nourished.

I feel we should start a revolution, erasing the bland two-word praise and replace it with a bit of presence and heart.