Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Keeping it simple for a Bright Future

I avoid the news. I know I shouldn’t and I recognise it's important to have an understanding of current affairs, but the news is so miserable. Pick anything: the environment, finances, how humans behave towards each other, so much of it makes me worry about the world we live in. Worse still, I worry about what the world will be like when my children are grown up. It makes me want to hold them closer, to protect them and keep them safe. It even makes me doubt my decision to have children. Was it selfish to bring more life into the world when the future looks so bleak?

I can’t save the world and as an individual there is a limit to how much I can influence what happens to it, but as a Mum, a girlfriend, a granddaughter, a sister and a daughter I can make a difference. I can make small changes to what I do, I can guide my daughters and in a big world which feels so out of control I can help make their future brighter. 

Unilever have a brightFuture initiative with a goal to unite communities. They encourage small changes in everyday life that have a positive impact on the world. They challenged me to share the everyday actions we take as a family to make the world a better place.

One of the things I realised when I talked to my big girl about the world and how we can make it better is that her view of the world is so very different to mine. She doesn’t understand how big the world is, how cruel it can be. To her life is simple. To her the world can be a better place if we help each other more. If we are kind, if we do things as simple as picking up rubbish then we can make the world better. 

So I’m thinking simple, what simple things can we do as a family to make the future brighter?

Make a mess. Don’t worry about dirt, don’t worry about stains, just play. Clothes can be cleaned, the house can be cleaned, people can be cleaned. So lets get in that mud kitchen, dig a hole, paint with our hands. Embrace mess and have fun.
A child's hand covered in red paint, a table, paint brush and piece of paper also covered in red paint

Make time. When I hear “mummy!” for the 50th time in an hour I find it tempting to ignore it, to not have patience. When I'm in the middle of cooking dinner and I feel a tug on my sleeve I have choices: keep trying to get dinner ready as quickly as possible or stop, bend down, look my daughter in the eye and focus completely on her for 30 seconds. How much difference will 30 seconds make to the dinner? How much difference could that 30 seconds make to my child?

Make contact. There is power in human contact. A hug can change the course of someone's day, but contact doesn’t have to be physical. We can all think of someone we should call more often, or email, or write to. People are often in our thoughts, but I know I’m guilty of not always letting them know.

Make bubbles. It could be a shower to relax and feel refreshed. Giving my children a bubble bath and a splash around. Maybe getting some bubble mixture, turning on some music and dancing around popping all the bubbles. Soap isn’t just for getting clean.
A baby's face floating in a bath surrounded by bubbles

Make a difference. My big girl knows what goes in the recycling, what goes in the compost and what goes in the rubbish. We give away old clothes and toys to charity shops so other boys and girls can enjoy them. I encourage her to speak to the child standing alone and scared at the side of a party. I give money to charity, reuse carrier bags and try to save energy. Such small changes, but maybe they will add up.

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever  http://www.brightfuture.unilever.com.
A fabric bag with a "U" on and the Unilever logo with a bottle of Domestos, Dove body lotion, persil non bio and Dove bath cream


  • “Unilever’s brightFuture initiative focuses on small changes that can make big differences and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene, including through hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene.
  • This is exemplified in the work undertaken by Domestos that has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Access to clean sanitation can protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates, help reduce school dropout rates and improve quality of life.
  • Furthermore, Persil has backed a global initiative ‘Learning for Tomorrow’ partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the world’s toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education.
  • Building on the aim to improve lives through small steps, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has worked closely with leading psychologists, academics and experts to create materials and resources that help young people develop a positive relationship with their appearance. The project has now reached over 19 million young lives.”
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1 comment

  1. Great post. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

    ReplyDelete

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