Learn to forgive, learn to let go

I don’t talk about it much on my blog but I love music. One of my current favourites is ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’ by Jess Glynne.

I have a real passion for quotes and lyrics. This song features a line that really got me thinking this week. The line was “learn to forgive, learn to let go.” I think this is simple advice that a lot of people need to follow, me included or should I stay especially me!

Things you don’t agree with

I think a lot of people do things that you don’t agree with, think things you don’t agree with, say things you don’t agree with or have views that you don’t agree with. Sometimes you can’t change what people do or think, sometimes the only thing you can control is how you react and the only good thing to do is to forgive.

Learning that you can’t always change someone’s views or opinions is an important thing to learn. Just because you know that you can’t always change someone’s views, you don’t need to give up hope that one day they will change. The way I want to be judged in life is how I treat others and I know in the past I have treated people badly, so I don’t want to fall in to that trap again. You can’t control how people treat you but you can control how you treat them and how you let them affect you.

We are not constant

As people we are not constant, one moment, one thought, does not define who we are. People are changing entities, some people change at a rapid pace whilst some are slower. Having the ability to recognize that and not let one thing define how you think about someone is a great strength to have.

When someone does something that annoys you or frustrates you, try and think of two things that are good about them or two things that they have done well. Don’t let yourself be blinded to the good in people. Try and remain balanced in your thoughts and how you view people.

If you forgive, you stop getting frustrated by others and hating others. Forgiving people frees you and stops people hurting you. Learning to let go lets you handle life, people and situations a lot better. All I want to do in life is handle it as best as I can and I hope that’s what others want as well.

To finish with and to steal another line from Jess Glynne “everyone trips, everyone falls.” I think we would be wise to remember this at times.

The Power of Football

I was out walking in a neighbouring city the other evening and saw something which made me stop and think.

Whilst I was walking, I walked past a Bar that was showing a football match and they had one TV that pointed out to the road so any passer by could stop and watch. In front of this TV was a homeless man. He had set his piece of cardboard down, sat down and seemed hooked on the match, to the point that the rest of the world around him didn’t seem to exist. This man was reacting to every close shot and every bad decision by the referee, he probably looked a lot like I do when I sit and watch at home.

Enjoying the Game

In the short time that I was there no one tried to move him on and no one bothered him, which was nice to see. Like any football fan he seemed to just want to enjoy the game of football and was allowed to do so. This event helped put football further in to prospective for me.

The game of football is an international phenomenon, played at the top level by people who will earn more in a month than I might earn in my lifetime. It is a game that now in this country if you want to follow it live on TV you have to pay obscene amounts of money to the likes of Sky, Virgin and BT Sport.

Key Strengths

Football is a game you get caught up in, a game that can give you something to look forward to and a game that can help you forget your troubles. These are the things that I think are its key strengths and I hate that in this country that it isn’t accessible to all.

I think more needs to be done at higher levels to make this sport more accessible. In a classroom of kids, for those that are in to football there shouldn’t be a class divide over football, where there are some kids who have parents that can afford the subscriptions to watch the games and some that can’t.

Lets Help Others

I would love to live in a world where those that can afford the subscriptions to watch live football invite people over to their home to watch games, people who they know can’t afford the subscription but enjoy the game. If I lived next to the street I think I would be tempted to put a TV up to the window for passers by to watch the game.

Lets use football, lets share football, lets do something ourselves, if more and more people are going to be priced out of the game lets bring them back in to the game. To the man I saw the other night, I hope you continue to enjoy football and that one day someone invites you in to watch a game with them.

I’ll Ride With You

I know I am a bit late in talking about this, which is not a good thing as everything about the online world is about being instant but I had to blog about this.

Earlier this week a siege in Sydney was shown on news outlets around the globe as many were kidnapped inside a café and some lost their lives. This was an awful story and big news, as compared to some other developed countries Australia had not had to deal with too many headlines about terror attacks in their country before.

I came home from work that day saddened by the news but then my wife told me about something that gave me hope. My wife showed me the online postings of many Australians using the hashtag #illridewithyou. For those not familiar with this, this is what Australians were posting soon after news broke of the attack to tell the Muslim population, their fellow Australians that if they were worried about travelling anywhere because of fear of reprisals that they would accompany them on their journey.

From an event that sparked fear in the hearts of many, Australians reacted with a message of love, tolerance and community. We may never know how many people did ride or walk with someone who was fearful but I think that this worked on many levels. Not only was this practical support it also spread a message to everyone, that Australia isn’t a country that would tolerate the harassment of others because of their faith which I think probably stopped a lot of that kind of behavior before it had chance to start.

In crisis and terror situations I think many members of the general public feel helpless or feel that they want to help but don’t know how but this simple hashtag showed that people can take back control. This campaign started spontaneously and was people power at its best. It showed that love is how you win people over and support them not fear or hatred.

I had the pleasure of spending 3 weeks travelling across Australia in 2011 and I can honestly say that I found Australians on the whole to be an amazing bunch of people that really do care and look out for each other. If you were ever thinking of going to Australia don’t concentrate on the siege, think about how the masses showed how much they cared for each other.

Life can be hard

On my travels this week I have noticed and met a lot of people who for one reason or another life has been a bit hard on. In schools we are taught how to read, how to write and how to add up but how well does it prepare us for life?

There are many people out there who through no fault of their own, struggle to cope with life. They may not necessarily have a medical condition, they just lack the capacity to fully engage in the world or to deal with the problems of day-to-day life.

I think more needs to be done to help people when they are in school to try and build life skills and to spot people that will need additional help when they leave school. It is these people who will be at a disadvantage when they leave school, regardless of the grades they receive, without life skills they will struggle.

One thing I hate is when I see people who for one reason aren’t able to enjoy things that many of us take for granted, when the world is going on around them and they can’t join in. Seeing this just makes me realize how lucky I am and how much we take for granted. I wish we lived in a world where this didn’t happen and that everyone was able to enjoy the simple things in life.

For many people the family or situation they were born in to may have caused them to close down and shy away from the world. It may be genes and genetics. It may be that they haven’t been able to deal with bad news that has come there way or bad things that have happened to them. These are just the tip of the iceberg as there are many reasons for people missing important life skills

Just because you can do things that you would consider basic like socializing or holding down a job, don’t assume that it’s easy for everyone else. I think we all as a nation need to stop walking by and need to be more aware. We need to become a caring nation that doesn’t judge and makes allowances for these people.