2021 has thus far seen a range of dramatic weather events. We’ve seen the apocalyptic rain in Germany and parts of Belgium and the Netherlands that claimed 200 lives. Click into this Economist article and you’ll see a photograph that will take your breath away – but not in a good way. It rams home the unimaginable destruction they’ve suffered there. We’ve seen too the fearful fires blazing across the Mediterranean region, resulting from record-breaking summer heatwaves. All of which has prompted me to flag up Greenpeace Day 2001 which is on the 15th September. And hot on its heels from the 20th – 26th September is national recycling week.
Do you pride yourself on being a good listener? What do you think comprises being good at listening? A Guardian article I read a few days back, ‘Be interested, be curious, hear what’s not said’: how I learned to really listen to people’, caused me to pause and … well … think. Reading it, it occurred to me that, all too often we can fall into the trap of believing that listening equates to staying quiet and not interrupting when someone is talking. Well that helps of course. But what the art of listening is really about is taking on what someone tells you.
Chewing the fat recently over coffee with a friend and fellow business owner, we got to discussing – and grumbling about – how ubiquitous the term authentic is in today’s business world. And by extension, if people are genuine about wanting others to be authentic – or if it’s nothing more than another tick on the buzzword bingo card.
I’m not about to dispute what we all know: that beauty is more than a fortunate arrangement of agreeable features. True beauty is, absolutely, about a loving heart and a caring soul. As the great American writer, critic and wit, Dorothy Parker, once said: ‘Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.’