I had already thought of one word – irreverent – I wanted to focus on in 2016 when Chris Brogan’s email popped on to my iPad in which he suggests identifying three words to help navigate choices in the year ahead. I don’t set resolutions, but I do like to focus and My Three Words seems a good vehicle for doing this.
What are My Three Words for 2016?
Am I really suggesting we should show disrespect to people or things held sacred or worthy of honour?
Before Christmas, I wrote and performed a comic version of the Queen’s Christmas Message to the people of the town where I live. I gave two performances and the audiences laughed up until the point where Her Majesty quoted lines from Adele’s song Hello:
“Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened?”
I ad libbed a response and concluded the performances.
The intention had been to poke fun at ourselves in a gentle way, but that’s not the way it was seen. You never know how audiences will respond.
This got me thinking about whether we take things too seriously. Are we really too ready to be offended by minor remarks these days? I’m not sure if that is actually the case, but do we need to lighten up, poke fun at ourselves and not be so keen to take offence?
I’ve subscribed to Private Eye for decades and seen it poke fun at many different targets, sometimes hilariously, sometimes in very poor taste and sometimes not funny at all. That’s my opinion and it’s the risk taken for reading a satirical magazine.
I don’t enjoy humour that is barely concealed aggression, but I do think we need more irreverent humour to gently deflate our pomposity.
I aim to write and perform more comedy in 2016.
We all live through tough times and sometimes it is easier to respond by acting tough ourselves than to be kind.
I’ve noticed this about myself over the past year and dislike it. It can be tough being kind, but why should we not be kind to others just because we’re having a bad time ourselves?
When thinking about wars and suffering around the world, being kind can seem pointless. What can it achieve when there are much bigger problems? But can we solve such big problems of war or hunger affecting so many people on our own? No. It can be very frustrating and depressing.
Yet we can influence other people through acts of kindness, by the way we respond to them. If it’s virtually impossible for any one of us to achieve major change in the world, we definitely can achieve small changes, one or more, every day. If everyone did this, it would add up tp major change, because we would all be working together instead of sitting, thinking, worrying about how we can help.
We underestimate the importance of being kind.
How much do we take for granted?
Recently, I have practised stopping, looking, listening and smelling: an effective way of using my senses to appreciate everything around me when I get too wrapped up in my thoughts.
I have realised that I don’t treasure my good fortune enough.
There are people around us who love, help and support us to treasure. Many of us live in an environment in which it is is very comfortable to live where accommodation, fresh water, food and utilities are so readily available that we forget to treasure them. We have opportunities to take up an amazing choice of activities in our jobs, careers and leisure time which deserve to be treasured. And we need to treasure ourselves, who we are and what we do.
In 2016 I aim to treasure everyone and everything in my life.
Why these words?
I chose these words because of my recent experiences and what I understand really matters to me.
They will take some effort to practise: irreverent humour without cruelty; kind actions when angry, frustrated or tired; being able to treasure life when under pressure or things go wrong.
They will be my focus.
And now three more words:
Happy New Year!