Designing Your Narrative From The Past to The Future
Written by Nahid Saiyed (UK)
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all – Aristotle
My journey to where I am today has been punctuated with so many unexpected and unplanned detours, that I would struggle to say where I am is where I planned to be. I do know for sure though that every experience has provided me with an opportunity for growth, to appreciate life and ignite in me a passion for humanity.
Having children has made me appreciate the preciousness of life, not simply by seeing fragility, hope, fear and love, but through experiencing the emotion and pull to want to protect,provide and prosper. As a mother I want, not only, to provide my children with all the comforts and opportunities I can to enable them to live safely and comfortably, but I want to show them, to let them experience other lives — lives that are not so fortunate, lives where there is struggle and unpredictability. To teach them the true meaning and value of life.
My work life has exposed me to narratives that are influenced by fear and it concerns me that we have young people growing up not knowing how to communicate with people who are different to them.
Over the past 2 years I have had the privilege of meeting some inspirational people (locally and Internationally) and learning about the different ways in which we can contribute to our societies and the impact each of us has on our current and future world. I have lived through times of uncertainty, changing relationships, loss of security and that experience where I was alone in a room full of people.
My personal and professional life experiences have also contributed greatly in getting me to this point. The impact world and local economics, politics, and conflicts have become a reality of our lives, exposing us to a narrative that asks the question where – are we going? But to begin to answer that question, I believe firmly we need to understand where we have come from, our journeys and history.
Hence the idea to create time and space to explore and learn about each other in constructive and positive manner, to create space to hear about, and value different journeys, celebrate what makes us different and share commonalities. In this space there should be the exposure to education that is needed to live, not just to make a living.
Whilst pondering this, and doing a bit of research, into what is currently available, I developed a sense that whilst there is a lot of activity in this area, much of it seemed reactive, and wondered if more proactive responses were needed to influence the course of the future, to be part of the group of people who are working tirelessly to design a different and better future.
We have a responsibility for our communities, society and the world in which we live. I want create opportunities for cross generational/cross cultural interactions facilitating value/issue based dialogue and sharing, facilitate a shift from a sense of individualism to community.
I believe it is when we begin to take notice of each other, to explore our deeper sense being and open ourselves to truly to see, experience and be present with unique qualities of humanity, that we can create a world that promotes values and belief systems that are conducive to creating a world that is uniquely representative and sustainable. Through sharing of journeys, listening to narratives and engaging in the beauty of creation we support each other to fashion a world that values individuals and their contributions to, promoting acceptance and celebration of our history as the norm. By noticing every act, every emotion we begin to enjoy the pattern we collectively weave.
These are some of the experiences that have influenced me to want to engage in projects that encourage communication between different people. I grew up around grandparents and elderly aunts and uncles, listening to stories of life in India, adventures of journeys abroad, of settling in England. I grew up spending weekends and holidays with cousins and friends playing in the parks and in the streets. As I grew older, I traveled overseas with friends and family, experienced different forms of communication and heard more narratives, saw how different people lived. I look back with a smile and gratitude. My children are growing up in a world that is so technologically advanced to the one I knew, a world where research and knowledge creates a environment that can become very isolated and isolating. Will my children recall memories that will bring a smile to their faces? Will they value what they have? I hope so. I try to provide as many different experiences as I can to expose them to different people, different worlds, different lives, to plant I them the seed of adventure and of compassion. I do what I can to expose my children to more than the education they receive in a classroom. I want them to be full of questions to be answered, to have the courage and passion to want to live life fully. I want this for all our children. This is what drives me to travel the road I travel. I don’t ever want to feel as though my journey is complete, but to keep turning the page, writing a new chapter!
And as I continue this journey, I seek to do so with humility, passion, compassion and a massive amount of good humour, and this is what I look for in those who I want to be surrounded by.
Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being – Rumi