A conversation I had with a recently arrived graduate in London inspired me to write this blog post. As it happens, this newbie reminded me of how, at some stage, it becomes so easy in London to lose track of what are the really important things in life.
As fresh faced graduates arrive from other parts of the country where life is calmer and so much different, it becomes quite a shock to land in the biggest cosmopolitan city in Europe in search of employment opportunities.
The capital can offer both extraordinary and traumatic experiences that will make anybody run for the hills! Many people wisely approach this urban jungle with caution, even though they arrive carrying an agenda full of useful contacts that will enable them to land a quality job as well as decent accommodation.
However far too many youth arrive in London without that luxury! Having no support network or valuable contacts, they just grab any job that comes their way until something better comes up. In fact, so many people barely make a living that allows any form of disposable income to spend on leisure.
Simultaneously, others seem to have more money than sense, thus over indulge themselves in destructive habits and toxic lifestyles. More often than not, such people do jobs that they do not like, are overwhelmed by stress, take far too many stimulants during each working day to keep up with the workload demands and barely find the time to rest, speak to their family or even see their own friends.
Consequently, their every waking minute is just consumed by the working culture of their industry in London. With this comes a mindset geared towards hostility, confrontation, competition, tension, suspicion and malice, emotional, psychological, verbal and physical violence that often spills out from the office into any place in the city.
This of course does not make daily life easy for anybody. Unfortunately plenty of Londoners do jobs that they are not well equipped to perform and they do not even like, however they do rejoice on taking their frustration on others!
As it happens, such negative behavior is not healthy for the perpetrator nor the recipient of aggressive demeanour. Therefore start being more self-aware, self compassionate and kind towards others. Monitor your own thoughts, emotions and actions towards others close and around you.
Think twice before you shout at your work colleagues, kick the neighbour’s cat or blast someone on your way to work during your daily commute. Are you misinterpreting things? Is it really worth it? Are you over reacting in this situation? Will you even see this person again? Have you thought about what kind of day that other person had so far? What kind of life does this person live? What really goes on in their personal lives?
Indeed, urban life can offer its challenges but that should never mean that humanity and kindness should be devalued and forgotten. I always say it is good to get away from the “urban jungle” once in a while just to see how the rest of the country operates in another way and at a different speed.
Originating from ancient Buddhism, being kind towards fellow humans and all living creatures should be rewarding in itself as it fuels both your psychological and emotional balance, eventually being reflected in your physical wellbeing too.
Kindness is not at all a sign of weakness, instead it only reflects the strength of a noble character… which is increasingly rare to find in current toxic offices, dysfunctional workplaces and questionable organizations.
Therefore, try to be kind to yourself, balance your lifestyle, look after your emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing. Respect yourself and show consideration for others too. I am sure you will agree that every small step towards positive change will gradually help make life easier for everybody who shares the same space in this “urban jungle”