In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
Over the last two months I’ve been watching with interest – or obsession, some would say – the commotion and backlash that has arisen in the wellness world here, in Australia.
It seems people are looking to point the finger, to blame.
But whether a wellness ‘expert’ is legit or not, how much are we, the finger pointers, to blame?
I say we have to take some responsibility if we are to put people on a pedestal and turn them into a celebrity – by wanting to look, be and act like them. (It helps if they’re young and pretty.)
This can be – and is – very dangerous, especially when one’s health and life is at stake.
Sure, it’s understandable – human nature, in fact – to want to make the same choices as a high-profile person who seems to be doing well for themselves.
Obviously, it’s not OK to lie and give false hope, as Belle Gibson has done. But there have been others like her, and there will continue to be others in the future.
So, we just can’t have blinkers on and blindly follow a person’s lead. Because one person’s experience – no matter how famous or good-looking they are – is not enough to base important health decisions upon. Especially if the person is not really a wellness expert, but rather a wellness celebrity – and, even more so, it they’re making money by ‘sharing’ their experience. (When big money is involved, things can become confounded and the truth blurred, whether the ‘expert’ even realises it themselves or not.)
Instead, researching credible sources and getting one, two or even three professional opinions from people with accredited health sciences qualifications (i.e. university degrees) – conventional and alternative (it doesn’t have to be either or) – is the least we can do for ourselves and our loved ones.
Because when it comes down to it, the choices we make – whether we base it on others actions or not – are, in the end, ours, and, therefore, our own responsibility.
Lately, I’ve been trying to cultivate a habit. A habit where my interaction with any human being, including strangers whom I may encounter, does something to uplift their day.
It could be looking the person in the eye and smiling as I walk pass or saying a kind word or two. Or chatting to the person who makes my coffee, enquiring about them and their day – listening to them.
It could be ‘letting someone in’, as I drive in peak hour traffic amongst others with the same agenda – to get to work on time should they face the wrath of their boss if they’re late. Or sending a text or email to a friend to say I’m thinking of them.
To me, these simple acts of kindness are an acknowledgement of someone’s existence; even if these acts take just a spilt second out of your day, they can make a person feel as if they’ve been truly seen or heard. We we all need to consistently feel this to feel – be – human.
But, I must be honest. Making someone’s day is not always top of mind. At times, I’m caught off guard, and react to someone’s rudeness or am in my own busy mind to acknowledge others. If I can just keep the word ‘kindness’ in my brain’s forefront, it might just help me to get there.
What helps is if I have also made my day by being kind to myself – that is, taking the time to get enough rest, eat good food, exercise and do the things that give me joy, such as reading a good book and having brunch with a dear friend. If I’m in a good ‘place’, only then I’ll have the brain space to be aware of making someone’s day.
What little acts to you do to make someone’s day? Or what does someone do for you that uplifts your mood?