The Views And Voices Of Children

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

Children should be seen and not heard

Girl, Child, Female, Talking, SingingWell, this adage seems very dated, doesn’t it! I am glad I did not grow up in that kind of environment. My parents encouraged us to engage in conversations with other adults and to express ourselves. I remember Dad prompting his customers to ask me questions, I would feel so shy about answering. But it was good for me.

However there was a balance. My parents also trained us to be polite, and to listen respectfully to others. They cultivated in us remarkable graciousness of speech, that has served me well in every job I have had. Many people have commented about the tact and diplomacy I employ with even the most absurd of characters. That’s all because my folks nurtured within me an inner security that comes with peace of mind and good heart,, and extraordinary empathy for those who seem to lack control of what comes out of their mouths.

litlsI have never had any of my own children. (I lost my little apricot of course at eleven weeks.) I admire my parents enormously for the way they trained us and the example they set.

Currently, there are a lot of little ones in our family, who so far seem delightful. I love that they have their own personalities. Recently I saw how they are individually developing beautiful qualities and using their own initiative to show kindness to others. They are flourishing, and I am sure that is due to their parents teaching them about the joy that comes with giving. Our whole family mindset is to praise and encourage kindness, sharing and giving. It’s lovely that that mentality is being passed to the younger generation and they are turning out to be so gorgeous!

narcAlthough I have never had children of my own, I have observed children. Some children seem shy and quiet. It can take great effort to encourage them to express themselves. Whereas other children walk around with such swagger, bossing their parents around, even calling their parents stupid.

Although I would not like to see any child being a nervous wreck, scared to speak up, neither is it healthy to see children who behave like mini-narcissists, trying to call all the shots and demanding attention from everyone. There is a balance. Children and adults should be allowed to speak up, but should also develop the ability to respectfully listen to others and accord them dignity.

scarAlthough, I have never been a parent, I have observed other parents. Some of whom have frankly terrified me, screaming abusively at their children in public, shaking them, making threats of what they would do once they reached home. I dread to imagine what might go on at home. Really scary stuff.

The way one woman handled her child upset me so much, I asked if her daughter might be willing to join our team of volunteers. She replied that her daughter was a very badly behaved girl, she called her daughter wicked. Well, that afternoon, while mother sat watching, the little girl worked with our team, helping visitors by fetching drinks and biscuits, cleaning up spills, handing out napkins, collecting rubbish. She was a delight. She loved being helpful and rushed round hugging everyone thanking us for letting her help the team.

A couple of us sat down and chatted with her mum about what was going on. Something was not right. We were careful because we did not know the full story of their family relationships, but the woman was amazed at how her daughter had thrived when being busy with a role that made her feel good about herself.

kisaA year later, I saw that same mother and daughter. The little girl was thrilled to see us. There was a tiny baby boy with them too. The mother told us more this time about the atmosphere at home. Since we last saw them, her husband had been sent to prison after an act of domestic violence. She looked like a different woman. Her little girl had been of great support. She took pride in washing dishes and helping out with all sorts of housework. Both of them looked so very different from the way they did a year before. They looked much happier and healthier.

Ultimately parents have the responsibility to teach their children. Schools may supply all sorts of information to children, but there is a whole host of training that schools will not provide. Before we ever started school, my parents were training us to engage in conversations with others, to think about questions and answer them in our own words, to express our feelings and to listen as others told us their views.

momesAs children we were seen by others and heard by others. We certainly did have our moments. I am sure at times, we must have tested our parents’ patience. However, overall I think they were delighted with the way we followed through on the training they had given us.

As children, we sometimes had a black and white view of the world. I remember every time we saw someone smoking, we would run up to them and start coughing wildly and pretending we were choking! My parents did not teach us that! I must admit, sometimes I still make a point of doing that as an adult! Naughty Caramel! Well, I still see smoking as the willful poisoning of one’s body.

Global Warming, Pollution, EnvironmentBut there were other areas in which we realized it was much harder to see black and white. We began to encounter the shades of right and wrong. Often children do feel passionately about subjects such as pollution, immigration, taxes and military conflicts.

If you ask most children (unless their parents have told them what to think instead of how to think) they would probably think radical and immediate changes to curb pollution are urgently needed, that the world should be one big happy family without borders and walls, that rich people should give up more of their money to help the poorer, and that human violence is wrong. And you know what, they are right.

We have seen children shout up and ask “Why is this happening?” Why are we spewing out carbon? Why are we burning up fossil fuels? Why is there so much non-recyclable packaging? Why are we telling people who are desperate that they cannot come and live and work here? Why are rich people growing richer and still, in this day and age, almost a billion people go to bed hungry every single day because they cannot scrape enough to make sure they and their families are well-nourished? Why are weapons of mass destruction in existence?

Hands, Man, Stage, Presentation, KeepSometimes adults criticise children who demand answers to these questions. Could it be that those adults who do so, no longer know how to think outside the box? Have they become boxed-in puppets of a global commercial system that always wants more, and wants to protect what it has and not share it with others? Is it possible that they cannot see a way to address important issues without having to give up some of their material comforts?

They bury their heads in the sand because the problems of pollution, immigration, economic extremes and threats to security are so huge, they don’t have real answers. Ask a child, the answers they come up with may surprise you! They may seem pretty black and white, pretty radical, but perhaps that’s because the truth is: this world needs a drastic clean sweep!

May our human family, adults and children alike, be seen and be heard and be sure they are valuable. May all enjoy life on earth. May all of us breathe in clean air and drink clean water. May all have a safe place to live and be able to obtain enough nutrition to keep us healthy. May we live without fear of violence and crime or diseases.


This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS:


Freedom To Dream

woalsI was just working on my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post for this week when I discovered that I still had last week’s in my drafts folder. I had forgotten to publish it – sorry Melanie! There you see in the picture the corner of the globe I reside in, that funny shaped (sometimes frightfully self important) island just a short hop from the mainland of Europe.

Well, I enjoyed answering these questions very much, so I thought I may as well publish last week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD as it seems a pretty cheer post. We all need a bit of cheer don’t we!

Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, gave us the questions I am answering here in last week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD, as you can see from her post below:


What age would you like to live to?

Freedom, Girl, Dress, Hands Up, BlondeI would like to live so long that age no longer matters. I don’t have plans to slow down or stop living.

I would love to bump into a friend and who asks me how old I am. When I reply, “Oh it must be 4,359,287,341,781,008,371,873 years since I was born”…naturally my friend will say, “You don’t look a day older than the last century when I saw you.”

I would like to see my great great great great great grandchildren have children and grandchildren and great children.

I want to take part to the fullest extent possible in the restoration work after this corrupt system is gone. I want to help build houses and landscape the land in different parts of this planet. I want to see deserts blossoming again. I want to see every inch of this beautiful planet. I want to study whales, especially blue whales. I want to build a boat and sail around the globe in it, as slowly as possible! So that I could visit every bay along the way.

I have huge plans for forever.

What mystery do you wish you knew the answer to?

Stone Arch, Geology, Formation, StoneOh I guess there are things I wonder about. I wonder about rocks. Geology is fascinating, but there are so many things that geology seems to have captured, but it would be incredible to see the reality of what those rocks record.

There are items I have lost over the years, and I could never work out where they went to. I guess I am still curious about where they ended up. I don’t just mean odd socks.

Cream Puff, Strawberries, CreamThen there are baking mysteries. Take choux pastry. I just find it amazing that the way you mix the ingredients that are in other forms of pastry results on this hollowish shell of pastry that you can stuff with whatever you fancy – savoury or sweet. The science behind it is mysterious to me.

There have been personal mysteries over the years. I knew of someone who disappeared. Literally disappeared. His family have been devastated. The police could not find any evidence pointing to “foul play”, so in the end they came to the conclusion that he disappeared of his own accord. But his family and friends have no idea if he is alive or not. It’s heartbreaking.

There are mysteries out there. But I don’t tend to dwell on them in all honesty. There is a lot to keep my mind busy. Smaller mysteries might not even matter in the passing of time. Bigger mysteries, well I think many of them will be solved eventually.

Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

of great interestIt so often has. This is one of the reasons why human rulerships fail.

Wasn’t it the Stanford Prison Experiment that provided a shocking example of what being in a position of dominance can do to people?

I think people have different ideas as to how to behave once in an authoritative or responsible role. I have worked with some amazing “superiors”, who really cared about us, ensured our working conditions were good and that we understood our assignment and had sufficient training. They took a personal interest in us. They were humble and listened. They encouraged us and inspired us. Most importantly, they set the example. they did not expect us to do anything that they were not willing to do themselves!

I can’t abide those who “lord it over” others. Demanding others follow their orders blindly without dignifying them. When someone in a responsible position is tempted by the offer of personal gains, whether it be financial, material, sexual or other “advantages”, it takes someone with integrity to shun those who want them to misuse their authority.

cruslI also find it very uncomfortable when people display an inflated pride in their race or the wealth and accomplishments of the country they were born in or reside in, whilst glossing over the criminal acts that have resulted in enriching of the nation.

Take the country I reside in. It makes you sick when you realize some of the cruel abuses of power that led to England becoming wealthier and wealthier. How can anyone in their right mind view the mercenary domination of others as “greatness”? It is shameful and despicable. The wealth of this country and others was often gained when people in other lands were abused. That is still the case today.

What some corrupt rulers will do to cling onto their authority is alarming. We know what rulers will do in the future to try to maintain their power. That will highlight the extent of their corruption. They will commit the crime that receives their final judgment.

What outdoor activity haven’t you tried, but would like to?

yekspOh…there are many I have tried, but I guess even more that I have not tried.

I guess I would love to learn how to surf or maybe windsurf one day. Surfing looks like so exhilarating, and I am a complete water baby, so I think it would be something I would love!

One day during forever, I think I might like to spend time near a beach known for great waves, and learn how to surf properly.


Please free free to share some gratitude from your world!

Mountain, Nature, Panoramic, SkyBlue skies. For the past week of so, we have had a lot of blue skies and sunshine. It’s still winter, but the sunshine and blue skies just elicit the biggest smiles. It’s lovely!

There is a freshness in the air and signs of life to come are everywhere I look! I am feeling more and more excited as the days pass for the spring and summer ahead. My head is full of dreams of sharing them with Jack!

Overtime Is Sapping Me

worsI am struggling a little. I have worked around 60 hours each week throughout January. Now it looks as if that will continue throughout February, although I may be able to have a morning or an afternoon off here and there. In fact I found out a couple of days ago that I can have Thursday and Friday afternoon off. Yay!

It’s just that tiredness accrues. I had an amazing opportunity on Sunday. Because someone had come down with the flu, I was offered the chance to take their place at a function up in South Kensington. But that was a late night. Then a long shift of paid work on the Monday, doing tasks which are so dull. Yet those dull tasks require concentration, and the ability to deal with other people who are tired and perhaps irritable.

hsapAt the moment, I am in a paid job that I find monotonous at times. If it wasn’t for the lovely people I am working with and the nice patients (the difficult patients make me ask why I am there) I would struggle to motivate myself. I could tolerate it before because I was only doing about 17 hours of paid work. The time passed quickly and I gave work my full concentration and energy. But I have been doing just under forty hours of paid work every week of January. It’s really getting to me. My motivation is evaporating as my tiredness builds.

Do you know that feeling of waking up in the morning, dreading the monotony ahead? I try to keep myself entertained by thinking up short stories to write in response to one of the prompts I have seen.

Anyway…I am not the only person who has to spend hours in a job that is comparatively dull to the rest of one’s life. Money paying jobs are often dull. A few hours before I start work, I log into my inbox and the volunteer database and spend a couple of hours scheduling volunteers for projects across the country. During evenings there are phone calls to make if I am home. Other evenings I have to attend training sessions or community groups which I assist with. A lot of volunteer business is discussed over dinner. I am invited out for dinner a lot, but often it is because we are working on a project and have issues to settle. But there is always great chatter and laughs besides “business”.

Oh dear…the thought of a whole month ahead of these long weeks of dullness is sapping the energy out of me. I want my life back! I want to be able to spend my time more productively, more meaningfully, more rewardingly.

spriaAaaaah! I hope they hire someone else soon. I have March set in my mind. If they have not hired someone else by then, I will give my notice in and find some other part time work. I am not willing to work full-time for money. It’s joyless. There are so many other things I want to do with my life, my time. Earning money is not what I want to do with the majority of my time.  There are so many wonderful projects going on with the charities I work with. I want to be able to give as much of my time and energy to those.

Sigh. I think what gets to me is how a small number of our patients from the very outset try to belittle you. It shocks me how many insulting comments are fired at us. I am very sweet to people. The practice is very organised and all staff are conscientious. So when someone is dissatisfied with the service and they start ranting, it is demoralizing. Whereas the spirit on the volunteer projects I work on…well, it is a spirit of dignity and appreciation and kindness.

Don’t pay me too much attention – I am just missing my life, and looking forward to having my normal hours back.

I’m Blushing Bee!

besofeBee, the creator of The Bee Writes…, is hosting a music festival, which I have to say, is pretty darn tootin cool! Don’t you think! By the looks of things her themes for this month long festival are going to rival Glastonbury!

Today’s theme is:

A song about making love

This is Bee’s post for today’s LOVE IS IN DA BLOG Music Festival, where you can find a line up of songs from other blogger’s on today’s theme:

Apparently this was Jim’s idea. Well…I chose a song that used to make me so embarrassed when I heard it as a teenager. This song would really make me blush. I think it still does! It is a bit scary scary. But I think it does qualify about making love. I can’t listen to the whole thing from beginning to end. It makes me cringe too much! I don’t know, the more overt, the more I want to cringe. I was horrified to find that Tom Jones had recorded a version of it – awful! I am a huge fan of Tom’s. but who on earth told him to record this song? Scary.