Stuart Reid, Mind Matters Initiative Chair
There is something wonderful about watching both sunrises and sunsets. Nature at its best; beautiful, colourful, unique, peaceful and, above all, phenomena that occur on a daily basis.
It is no surprise to me that websites offering mental wellbeing support and coaching often feature gems of nature, particularly those connecting us to a bigger peaceful world and something beyond ourselves.
I am writing this first blog as Chair of the Mind Matters Initiative having just completed a visit to a veterinary school in Australia. As always, the time and date difference in dealing with emails from other parts of the world was a challenge. What date and time here, what date and time there? And with being many hours ahead of life at home, it put me in mind of the question a child might ask: “So if you are in the future; what’s it like?”
To be honest, as a kid I always struggled with the seasonal moving of the clocks – how did the sky/sun move? – and equally with the concept of time zones. And while the world may be debating the utility of the former, for me the issue of people living in different time zones came to be rather comforting. I remember standing in a superstore in Scotland watching, on a huge bank of LED televisions, the arrival of New Year over Sydney Harbour Bridge, some 11 hours ahead – fanfares, singing, cheering and amazing fireworks. “Wow,” thought I, “in 11 hours we get to do the same.” (Albeit without the pyrotechnics or the sky-arching bridge …those folks in the future were certainly having a good time.)
As a consequence, my response to the question from the child in the time zone behind me has always been: “Yep, all good – tomorrow is okay.” It was years later that I came across further evidence: a permanently fixed notice in a bar I once frequented, proudly proclaiming “Free Beer Tomorrow”. Optimism that is recharged daily.
So, whilst I know that there will be challenges and that some days are hard or very hard, the idea of tomorrow being a new day that continually refreshes, that is always new and unique, is one that I carry with me. Enjoy the good days; and for the not so good ones, tomorrow is a new day.
My mother was the eternal optimist and, for all that life threw at her, she lived and died mostly happy. And although she insisted she never led anything – something I might dispute – she had the key attribute of leadership: instilling in others, in this case her kids, that tomorrow could always be better and bigger than today. And that the most important leadership of all was internal – that somewhere deep inside we each have the ability to lead ourselves into tomorrow, with the sun setting on the old and perpetually rising to the new.