Ken Powell – Re-finding personal dignity

Ken PowellTHERE is a wonderful system online called ‘Flylady,’ which is all about tips on cleaning your house and organising your life with greater ease.

One of the principles is this – “Always leave any room you’re in at least a little better than when you came in.”

It’s amazing how doing this as you move from room to room, picking up a plate here, or straightening cushions there, tidies your whole house over time.

Since returning to the UK in 2014 I think I’ve seen best and worst of people when the chips are down.

For the worst: I’ve seen people destroy their self-integrity when they become jealous; people turn on former friends and try to destroy their reputations, friendships with others or even their lives; people who under great stress lash out at those closest to them or try to find fault; the most insidious is perhaps those who, after some misunderstanding, rage uncontrollably and their pride refuses to let them make amends and say sorry.

We see such behaviour all the times in the media.

Politicians who slur their opponents just to win elections, Hollywood stars attacking former lovers, and businessmen who put their personal wealth before employees, sucking cash out into private accounts when they know the business is in trouble.

We’re led to believe this is normal behaviour.

Conversely, I’ve also seen the best.

I’ve been privileged to know people suffer bereavement yet give support and unconditional love to others.

I’ve seen people going through great stress with their work yet always be ready to give time and energy to those who need them.

I’ve seen victims of various forms of abuse hold themselves with dignity and refuse to give in to bitterness.

Most recently, my family have been touched by cancer.

I’ve been humbled to see someone close to me pick themselves up after the news and start preparing for the worst.

When you see someone you care about dealing with strain under the shock yet keep on walking, you see the true measure of who they are.

It’s the moments of weakness which impress me most.

When that person breaks down in tears from the pressures of the day but carries on regardless the next day.

This isn’t a naturally strong, courageous person: this is someone very ordinary dealing with something very not ordinary.

It’s humbling to be privy to this, to sit with them and do what little you can to support while watching them continue to care for others and do their best.

Around the world I’ve seen people with every reason and motive to lash out – at the world, if nothing else – yet they don’t.

These are the people who really matter, I believe, because they enrich the lives of others.

When these people leave the room we call ‘Earth’ they do so making it a little better because of their care.

Is there a greater way to be remembered? I can’t think of one.