Rebelle Society wrote this great blog a while ago called 30 questions to ask yourself before you die. I didn’t really want to wait until my death bed though – I rather thought the New Year might be a good time. I’ve been working through them one by one, and really enjoying it – and learning a lot too.
There are some important questions there, but one really captured my imagination:
If you were to leave the world today, what would be your manifesto? What would you tell your children if you were forced to abandon them unexpectedly?
I sat there and thought for a moment. What would I tell my kids about life? What have I learned?
This is what came out on the paper:
1. Look after and love your friends. Sometimes they will be all that you have and that will save you.
2. Regularly ask yourself What do I love? What makes me joyful? What am I passionate about? Then make sure you spend time doing that thing every day.
3. Don’t be overwhelmed by all there is to do in this world. Do what you can, where you are. That is all any of us can do, and indeed, if all of us did this, the work would be done.
4. Develop an ability to laugh at yourself. Take yourself lightly – that way you can float rather than sink when life dumps you.
5. Know yourself. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses, know what you believe in and why. Be honest. Do your personal work, hone your strengths, embrace your weaknesses, and be the very best you can be.
6. Look after your body – it’s the only one you’ve got, and it needs to carry your spirit all the way through your short-long life. Feed it well, move it, love it, appreciate it.
7. Practice discernment. Do not believe everything you see or hear. Be mindful what you are filling your mind with. Do not be afraid to ask questions of people who tell you information. Questions like: Where did you get that information from? Why? What do you mean? Your quest is to understand the world and asking questions will help that.
8. Nurture your spirit. Meditate, spend time alone and time in nature. Be present, aware and always, always, move towards joy. There are four parts of you that need to be in balance: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. There is not one that is more important than the other.
9. Become a part of your community. Spend some of your time, knowledge or money in local businesses, organisations and people. Having the support of your local community, and being part of something larger than yourself will make you very happy.
10. There are as many paths to Truth as there are people on this planet. Each path is as valid and significant as the one you have chosen. Walk your own path and respect the right of others to walk theirs – even if you don’t understand it.
What would your manifesto be?