Those of you who have been following the press will know that this year is a very special anniversary in UK history - 100 years since women got the vote for the first time. It got me thinking about a lot of things, not least the famous slogan that the suffragettes adopted. Deed not Words.
It may only be 100 years since the Representation of the People Act was passed but the notion that actions speak louder than words, dates much earlier. In fact Shakespeare himself can be quoted as saying “Talking isn’t doing. It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds”. Yet to this day we still seem to have a problem with putting this into practice.
How many times have you logged onto facebook and all you see if disingenuous posts by people saying that they live their life by being nice to others? Or they are that person who hides their own battles because they are too thoughtful of others around them? Now I'm not knocking those sentiments but by posting it I feel it often contradicts what the words say, it's attention seeking, and if we are really true to those words then we wouldn't need to say it out loud. Why? Because actions speak louder than words.
It saddens me that our world has become so shallow. A post on social media is suppose to be testament to the sort of person that we are. The sense of community and looking after each other is not as prevalent as it once was. And for me this is a slap in the face to all those, women or men, who fought for equal rights. For those who have fought for their cause, and for freedom and liberty.
However, every now and again there is a glimmer of hope, and often not where you expect it. Something that sparks something inside to be that better person.
This recently came to me in the shape of Paloma Faith. I have always been a fan of her music, and for me she is a modern day female role model, expressing eloquently the need for equal rights. But when I went to her concert I didn't expect to come away quite as inspired as I did. She totally rocked the night, her voice is note perfect, it's like you are listening to a recording and she is also funny and entertaining in equal measures. She talked a lot about her personal experiences, and it made me realise that even at the top, with all the money in the world, life isn't always easy.
But it wasn't these things that made a lasting impression on me, but the challenge she set us all. Paloma said she wanted to start an epidemic of kindness, and it was to start with us. She challenged us all to an act of kindness that cost no more than 50p per day, whether that was giving your time to someone who is lonely or to become more conscious about recycling. Perhaps do something for someone else even if they aren't appreciative or aware of the support you give, open a door for someone, smile... its the little things that make a big difference.
Her message was simple... be more self aware of how YOU can change the world, play your part and don't tolerate the things that pull society back. I accept her challenge, and this blog is my way of helping spread the word but the real task is in making it a reality with actions. So my contribution to the epidemic of kindness starts now, and I only hope it makes me as kind hearted and genuine a person as the graceful and inspiring Paloma Faith, and the thousands of women before her who fought for a better world.