We are breaking bread and sharing space with a diverse group of individuals from across the globe. They emanate from Canada, New Zealand, China, Philippines, India, United States, and all over Europe. The age group ranges from babies to the nineties. We are cruising across the Adriatic, the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas. People watching is rich. Parents with children, newlyweds, retirees, those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, empty nest status, and those honoring their wanderlust.
It is here that I celebrate our common humanity. The love of history around the world, the love for food, the magnificence of a sunrise or a moon reflecting its rays onto the ocean, the wonder of a stage magician, the laughter at the antics of a comedian and the majesty of a chamber orchestra.
It is also here that I note how people treat one another. Those who have social intelligence wait until everyone on the elevator that needs to exit does so before they enter. Those who have manners wait in line to get their turn. Those who are done with their meals leave the table and push in their chairs. Those who are done with the treadmill will wipe it down for the person coming behind them.
Mealtime in the buffet is a study of the human condition. I watch how parents interact with their children. Most children are mannerly and sit and eat a meal with their parents. They talk, laugh and delight in one another. Parents are smiling and appear to enjoy being with their progeny. There are others that are constantly reprimanding their children to stay seated and to eat their food obviously exasperated at the constant activity. Still others have all the children on electronic devices, and no one is connecting.
What I think about with the flurry of life going on around me is what we need to learn to be successful and to make the world a better place. Do we need to know math, science, history, languages and reading? Of course. However, in my opinion, watching 2200 people on a cruise ship interact in a variety of ways, here is what I think we really need to learn.
We need to learn how to be kind, mannerly, and conversant. We need to honor others by being interested in their story. We need to self-regulate and wait our turn. We need to learn social cues and how to treat others with dignity and respect. We need to be inclusive and caring. We need to clean up after ourselves and not leave trash anywhere. We need to share tissues for toilet paper in line if we know there is none in the stalls. We need to look out for one another, kind of like an international buddy system. How I wish we could take these basic lessons in decency and humanity across the globe. This is what is means to promote peace, dignity and unity right where we are. For information contact: joneen@myrelation
shipcenter.org or check out www.myrelationshipcenter.org
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