I spent some precious time with my dad yesterday, he is very unwell and we shared some memories and stories. We looked through photos of my 3 boys and reflected on family holidays when I was a boy.
Afterwards, I reflected on some of dad’s words and counsel. In his own way, he reminded me that my own boys are always watching me. Learning from me. Imitating my own behaviour and reactions to events – the good, bad and the ugly. We all have a blind spot when it comes to the influence that our actions, no matter how small, have on those around us.
Lee Lefeever pointed this Western Australian road safety advert yesterday (see below). For most of us, there nothing new here but a very timely reminder. We have just come back from 3 glorious weeks away in Fiji. They have something called ‘Fiji Time’ … which is slow, happy and welcoming. We have been home for a week, and I am noticing everything quicken – my thoughts, actions, speech, eating. Rushing here, rushing there. Losing sight of those small moments when my son asks me a question or points to something he has achieved. What does he see in me and my response?
So here are some questions to hold for fathers, mothers, leaders and friends …
Who is watching, learning and imitating you?
What is one behaviour (particularly those automated responses to certain situations) that you are not proud of? One that you wish to change so that those around you see the real you – I can think of plenty.
How do we remember to breathe deeply even when events are spinning around us?
And from Fijian culture … Smile, welcome others and slow down.