Hello Citizens of the world….A friend of mine from the UK, David Sharpe wrote the following blog. I thought this would be the perfect time of year to share it with you. It you can’t be positive, good and respectful of everyone in this holiday season, then you will never be able to make a difference in this world. Try it out today by picking someone at random and making their life better. You will like the way you feel and so will the person you surprise. We all love surprises…Happy, Happy Holidays…Lee
PS: We all know what eventually happened to the Romans when they quit being good citizens.
Citizens of the Future
In the days of the Roman Empire, wherever one travelled in the known world, you only needed to pack two words. Civis Romanus announced you were a Roman citizen, it meant instant respect and protection. But was weighted with responsibilities and expectations. Roman citizenship was for the very special few. It was simultaneously envied and feared.
This idea of citizenship carries through the centuries. Susan Sontag framed it brilliantly, writing in her landmark book “Illness as Metaphor”, that we hold passports and citizenships in very different kingdoms. Our lives and choices are riven with contrast. Talking from deep within her own experience of cancer, Sontag spoke powerfully;
“Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of use is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”
At the start of a new year, it’s useful to dust off ways in which we can better decide our lives, how we influence ourselves and the worlds we inhabit. Happiness and satisfaction in life can be seen as a personal choice, or at least the result of choices. We all have dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the positive and the happy, and in the kingdom of the cynics and the nay-sayers. The kingdom of the well is one of generosity, liberality of spirit and self-respect, a citizenship of limitless possibility. Which world would you want to inhabit?
Unprecedented connectivity and the pace of information means the actions of one person in Boston can reverberate in Hong Kong and Sydney; individual choices and actions are everything. We make our company, our business and our world better by small actions and dignities. Each time we do something good and worthwhile, it sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, in Robert Kennedy’s famous expression.
Open up your passport to the kingdom of the well. Try to live in that kingdom for even a day and see what happens. Each of us can make the world new. Be a Civis futurae, a citizen who creates the future.
Thanks Lee. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of bemoaning how we feel or how tough things are. Rather than that we should do exactly what’s talked about. Live as a citizen of the “well”. If we do than we can all help others.