How did I get here?

When you pause and find some time to reflect, you might ask yourself: How did I get here? Being haunted by your boss, working on deadlines, dealing with family affairs, tackling surprises like less or no income during COVID 19; trying to fit all of these and many other tasks and interests into our days, we often find ourselves in a trance without realizing what is really happening.

 

 

Knowing this feeling, can you imagine how your children must feel when they think about themselves? Dragged out of sleep early in the morning totally against their inner clock, rushed through their morning routine – bath, get dressed, breakfast, and then hurried to school. There, with many other children in small classrooms, they have to tolerate adults with different personalities, approaches and moods 6 to 8 times a day for 45-minute intervals. These adults tell them what, how and when they have to do things. They have not enough time to spend with friends – rushing home for homework, tutoring, sport, music, art, and other activities, and after dinner, more homework and in-between hours of satisfying the pressure of social networking and computer games.

Not being allowed to make decisions much of the time, children must ask themselves more often than we do: How did I get here? Am I the person who I want to be? Am I spending the majority of my time with what I really want to do? Are my needs and wants taken care of?

Suppose we already put our youngest through these kinds of strenuous regiments daily – like hamsters running around in their wheels. How can they experience life and find out who they really are?

Suppose we already put our youngest through these kinds of strenuous regiments daily – like hamsters running around in their wheels, satisfying the endless demands and wishes from everyone around them. How can they experience life and find out who they really are? How can they find their own personalities and happiness?

I can already hear the arguments from many people: ‘It needs to be like this. Children must be prepared for their future, and life is not a Wunschkonzert!’

 

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Do you stop and wonder why there are so many people with depressions and anxieties? So many divorces, so much aggressiveness and intolerance. How many people do you know who are genuinely happy? If we are boxed in all our lives, we cannot blossom, cannot be our real selves. And living like this, we will never find genuine happiness. Let’s focus more on what makes life liveable. Listen more to each other and give each additional space, so we do not have to be like society expects us to be, but be the persons we really want to be.

This means empowerment and does not only have to happen at work but as well in families and schools. And then we will all know how we got there!

Philipp Graf von Hardenberg
Philipp Graf von Hardenberg

President & Executive Chairman of Thanyapura World Pte. Ltd. Co-Founder of United World College Thailand (UWCT) Founder of the Yaowawit School, Thailand


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