Last week a friend and I were walking beside Lago Maggiore, on our way to my home after dinner in town. We were talking about the world situation and why it's so critical for human behaviour to change when we spotted parents talking as their young daughter suddenly made a mad dash for the water. The mother arrived at the water's edge and lifted her into the air a fraction of a second before she would have splashed down. Two minutes later the same thing happened; this time the father caught her! We continued on and five minutes later they passed us, the child soaking wet, wrapped in a towel in her father's arms. What seemed clear to me even if this is their beach 'game', for the child it was a game of 'truth and dare', one that she clearly 'won'.
Very soon those who are babies, kids, and young adults will inherit the social and natural environments that we, supposed grownups, are co-creating. Paradox continuing to raise its head, the sad truth and good news is how many teens and 20-somethings are flat out rejecting what their parents and grandparents erroneously took for granted. They are unwilling to live with the wrongs that too many of us have long assumed to be rights, privilege or normal.
“Abitudine” has long been one of my favourite Italian words; it means ‘habit’ but to my ear has a linguistic link to the English word ‘attitude’. Most of us know full well what attitudes get us in trouble. The question is, what will it take for us to recognize that they are simply bad habits?
The Italian word that delights my heart is ‘giocare’, which means ‘play’. However, it sticks in my brain because it reminds me that there is also a need to take care.
The strongest word in my growing vernacular is ‘basta’,which I use only to express “The End.”, “Period. Full stop.” Hearing it everyone knows I’m finished with whatever was going on.
All of this is to remind us how important it is to see the connections between our attitudes, choice of words and tone of voice. For most of us, too many are a singular, sequential habit. Those that are healthy lead to positive action but those that are toxic too often cause a disastrous chain reaction.
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty tired of experiencing change the hard way. Today is a great day to begin a new course in self-acceptance, and I've learned that even a fleeting breath of understanding means love is available on the next inhale. The grand good news is how gratitude pulses every 'next'.