Blog entry by Alan Chapman
Children, Teachings and the Fear-to-Love Switch
This interview (8th Jun 2020) on BBC World Service 'Newsday' with Simeon Bartee offers several profound lessons, notably:
- Children teach us very powerfully.
- A switch from fear to love can happen very quickly.
- Change happens in surprising ways.
- Stories are powerful.
The original broadcast on BBC Sounds is here (interview is about 6mins): https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w172x2w84yj4vfr
The original post that went viral is here, on the twitter account of Simeon Bartee: https://twitter.com/iamsimeonb (the top pinned tweet 3rd June 2020 and at time of this article 8th June 2020). You will find many other 'news' coverages and interpretations of this event. I encourage you make your own interpretations. I've tried to make my own and share it as simply and helpfully as I can.
Simeon Bartee seems already to be a 'changemaker' of sorts, and he certainly is now.
Other lessons that might be drawn from this interview include:
- Forgiveness is powerful and accessible, especially when somebody makes the first move.
- Forgiveness requires some vulnerability and trust, and bravery, and these aspects of personality and mood are strengths, and aspects of love and fearlessness.
- The opposite of love is not hate, it's fear. And so fearlessness and love basically equate.
- 'Big ideas' are important for good change, especially in challenging situations. This is about creativity and bravery (also love and fearlessness).
- 'Big ideas' often start with small steps. They are emergent and organic. Others help to develop them. The first small step or steps is all that's needed to start this process.
- The innocence of small children equates to trust and fearlessness, and the sort of openness that is commonly lost or forgotten in adulthood, when many of us we become fearful and defensive. It's good to listen to and be guided by small children in big challenging situations.
- Hugging, smiling and waving are primal and good in all humans. We must try to remember and do these things, subject to respecting other people's fears and sensitivities.
- Love (and trust and fearlessness) are all contagious in powerfully good ways.
- Uniforms are part of the semiotics and 'language' of words and signs and symbols that make meaning for us all. This meaning is extremely flexible. It's different for each of us, although there are many underlying meanings that are unconscious that we tend never to question. The meanings that we make from language and semiotics are partly how language and semiotics are designed, in a fundamental sense, and also for each per communication or signal and combinations/accumulations of these, but also importantly partly how we each individually see ourselves and the world/life, etc.