A while ago I started an article with “Time is the only issue we have absolutely no control over” and saying how relentless it was and how disconnected we were becoming from other humans due to computers, mobile phones etc. That is the case in many spheres of our lives but there is something that we, and only we, have control over and that is how we react to different circumstances and to what we see going on around us.

We rely so much on technology that we are losing the ability to think for ourselves, to build things with our hands, to use our brain in the way we need to in order to survive. Everything is automated. Not long ago a meteor hurtled towards Earth at 45,000 mph bursting over Chelyabinsk in Russia. According to scientists, at only 62ft wide it burst with the force of 40 Hiroshima-type atom bombs. As our Universe grows older and continues to expand I think we will get more and more “near miss” incidents.

On Guy Fawkes day Google celebrated with a picture of cakes adorned with candles on their page; I love their animations so I ran my cursor over it and a message came up Happy Birthday Rona – I was surprised, yes, it was a little spooky! How did they know? They are not clairvoyant – I remembered I had a Google+ account and had to insert my birthday into it. That little bit of thoughtfulness brought a smile to my face and a warm glow in my heart – I did realise that it was an automated message!

As I write this the news is that people across the world are sleeping out in the open – whether because violent storms have destroyed their houses and towns or through conflict, they are sleeping under canvas or in makeshift homes in freezing or wet conditions with little sanitation or food. As Christmas approaches the charities are extolling us to give money to help these unfortunate people.

We cannot control what happens to our planet and to people caught in hostilities or storms but we can make a difference much nearer to home. I wrote in my newsletter this month that we need to connect with each other on a different level than technology. We need to look people in the eye, we need to speak to them face to face – time is our enemy, but we can control our thoughts, words and actions.

My children often think I am mad. We are so “connected” yet more isolated or disconnected with each other. Like animals we need each other to survive and thrive.

Often I see people having a coffee on their own, trying on clothes and looking perplexed into a mirror unable to decide whether to buy it or not, or travelling by themselves. If I have bought a coffee I will ask if I can join their table – often there’s no choice but it’s still nice to ask – sometimes we get into conversation. It is a moment in time – we meet, chat and may never see each other again but it brightens my day and I hope that it does theirs. It is a pleasant interlude in our busy lives.

If I see someone looking perplexed but dressed amazingly – I compliment them on their appearance. The perplexed look becomes a smile and hopefully I lifted their day. When I see someone trying on a dress looking perplexed into the mirror I say how nice they look – the response is often “Oh thank you – I like it but wasn’t sure.”

I hope that I made someone happy that day. It costs me nothing but a moment in time and a few words but the look of relief, the calmness that comes over them makes me think that just maybe I might have made a difference for them.

Many years ago Jimmy Durante had a hit song Make someone happy. It said that if we made someone happy then we would be happy too. Why not try it and see? If we could just do that every day – now that’s something we do have control over!

Rona Cant is an explorer, international speaker and author. Once an unexceptional, middle-aged single parent she became a round-the-world yachtswoman by competing in the BT Global Challenge Round the World Yacht Race (the toughest yacht race in the world ... (Read More)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *