As I reflect on my life, I find myself pondering on what really matters. Many things have come to mind but the most significant of them all has been ‘PEOPLE’. As simple as that!

People are important in all areas of our lives, and the impact that each individual can have on us, or we on them is huge in one way or another. I once heard someone say that we are the sum total of everyone that we have met and everyone that we have missed. This may not be ‘Gospel’ but there is a lot of truth in that statement.

We are designed to be interdependent beings, and not to operate ‘SOLO’. Whether we are aware or not, and whether we realise it or not, how we are being affects other people and vice versa.

Why is Peer Pressure such an issue, and why is Stigma a thing that we want to eradicate from subjects such as Mental Health? It is because we care about what people think and we all want to belong.

As a human race, we need to understand that we are not actually engaged ‘in’ a ‘race’, and life is not a competition against one another. That is why I prefer the term ‘Human Beings’ to the term ‘Human Race’

If the Pandemic has taught me one thing, it is that I rely on and need people more than I ever realised. It has been interesting to see how we have coped with the Lockdown and Strict Restrictions. The thing that has impacted us the most is the lack of contact with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even strangers.

I miss being with people! Do people miss being with me though? Am I missed or are people enjoying some respite? A scary question to ask ourselves, and for some of us we would not like an honest answer. So here is the thing, the past is the past, but the future can be anything we decide it to be.

We can decide to make time for people.

We can decide to engage in community projects.

We can decide to do a kind deed every day.

We can decide to bite our tongue.

We can decide to do our work with integrity.

The possibilities are endless as far as how we can be is concerned, but first we have to appreciate the significance and worth of every person we meet.

Many years ago my wonderful mentor, Richie Dayo Johnson, who has since sadly passed away said to me, “Ore, every man or woman you meet is superior to you in some way”. I have always held on to this. There was no suggestion in these words that I was not capable, these words were simply suggesting that I should never become arrogant or prideful because of my capabilities.

No man is an island, so in recognition of our interdependence as Human Beings, let us put people at the heart of everything we do. Let us be kinder, thoughtful, less judgemental, and more forgiving. Let us be people builders and enablers, and let us start with appreciating No.1. Let us start with ‘YOU’.