Princess Diana - what lessons on INclusivity can we draw on?
Princess Diana died 20 years ago. I watched the programme about her on television last week. I was instantly transported back to the overwhelming grief that united the nation and the world. Like most of you, I choked and could not hold back the tears. Memories came flooding back about where I was when I heard, the displays of flowers, the newspaper headlines, the disbelief, the funeral procession and her boys walking behind their Mother's casket while 3 billion people watched.
I then reflected on what I'd seen of her life, her compassion, her work, her connected-ness, her kindness. And I summed it up as INclusivity. No-one ever felt left out, discarded, unwanted or irrelevant in her presence. She made people feel better about themselves and others. What can we learn from that? Kindness is so under-rated and undervalued and under-expressed.
What would Princess Diana make of the world we live in, two short decades later?
- The plague of hating and shaming that men and women inflict upon other women?
- The self obsessed digital culture that leads to dissatisfaction in our lives?
- The epidemic of mental disorders, especially in the young?
- The murderous actions of terrorists and, just as bad, the hate-fuelled attacks on innocent Muslim women and the rise of racism and white supremacy?
- The lack of equality between men and women?
- The dangerous political climate and abhorrent leaders that control our world?
- The lack of education for girls globally?
- The genocide taking place all over the world? And the millions displaced from their homelands
- The lack of tolerance and rights for all?
- The growing poverty and children still dying of starvation or being trafficked? And at the opposite end, the uber-wealthy amassing even more?
- The exposure of paedophilia, especially in the church and rising crimes against children?
Well we no longer have Princess Diana as a guiding light but we can all do a little something to help. We can all be more tolerant, kind, empathetic and giving. We can all get over ourselves and calm down on the selfies. We can all tell the story of our lives as they really are. We can all learn more about people different to us. We can all look out for children and report suspicions and concerns. We can all stop looking the other way and confront the inequities. We can all be kinder to ourselves and other women.
Start a more positive existence today. Don't be a by-stander.
Tell me what you think Princess Diana would do or what you will do in the comments.