– We challenge you. No girl will dare to cross this ravine!, shouted my classmate.
The ravine was in deep forest. A fallen tree served as a “bridge”. Of all the 10 year old girls it had to be me the one to respond to the challenge. The whereabouts of adults accompanying us is blank in my memory.
I started crossing it. I still remember the depth of the ravine when I looked half way through. Someone shouted “Do not look down!”. It was the my classmate. Or perhaps my guarding angel. I managed to cross it and return, in one piece. Except couple of my curly hairs taken by the subtle air current between trees.
As my child embarks into the age of stretching limits and testing boundaries I want her to do it because she wants it and not because someone challenges her. I also want her to understand what it means to challenge others. Does it help her and the other kid grow and become a better human?
I want to believe that all parents explain to their kids what it means to challenge and be challenged and that the final choice if theirs. I also trust that we, as adults, show this by our actions and through our words. Because kids give what they receive.
I was on a 4 hour train ride.
– How are you, Madam? It’s ok, not too long?, asked the conductor, as we approached our destination.
– Thank you, it is just right. And how are you? You are the one working all these hours. I am only giving a massage to the seat 🙂
– Oh, thank you very much for asking, a big smile lighting up his face. I adore it. It’s the best job in the world! When all goes well.
– I wish you that it continues to stay well, in all its ways.
– Thank you very much, Madam. A pleasure to see you again on our trains.
A one minute dialogue with a thousand riches in it. People find meaning in serving others. People are opening up when asked with autheticity how was their day/duty trip/behind-the-cashier day. A grateful customer can give meaning to someone’s work. Be kind.
Coffee mug courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott – my kind of coffee fortune telling.
An ordinary day in Strasbourg. Kids are on the river.
An ordinary day in the European Parliament. MPs are in their comfy chairs in the modern tower of Babel.
Let’s switch their places for a while: MPs – on the river and let the kids play in the tower.
As an MP, if you want to have the floor, you’d have to paddle to the chair, against the wind, the waves, the rain into your face…
If you want to talk to a lobbyist, you’ll have to paddle to the bank (of the river)… .
For committees’ works, you’ll have to do it in the open. Whispering will not work, as the passing by boats can be noisy. And there is no air-conditioning to protect from the boats’ emissions…
Perhaps, this will make the MPs hear the voice of kids, when they demand care for the Earth, nature, the health and well-being of generations to come.