In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal 12 life lessons from children who have life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses.
First a quick update:
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Now, let’s talk about the 12 life lessons from children who have life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses.
Perhaps the way each one of us approaches the New Year (and life in general) is actually back to front. We view it as the beginning, but, what and how would our life be different if we thought of it as the end?
What would you do differently?
The answer comes from children – children who have life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses.
Dr. Alastair McAlpine is a pediatric palliative care physician in Cape Town, South Africa, who works with these children (ages 4 to 9) and their families. @AlastairMcA30
“As part of my diploma in pediatric palliative care, I was tasked with evaluating the attitudes of my little patients towards life. I asked some of them what gave them joy and meaning. Their answers were surprising and positive. In fact, they made me completely re-evaluate my relationships with friends and family. I now spend more time with the people I love and I tell them how I feel about them. I have tried to make kindness a priority in my life.”
Here are 12 life lessons gleaned from children whose lives have been cut short. The lessons are based on the words and findings of Dr. Alastair McAlpine.
1. TV, Facebook and fighting are a waste of time
NONE said they wished they’d watched more TV
NONE said they should’ve spent more time on Face Book
NONE said they enjoyed fighting with others
NONE enjoyed hospital
2. Pets and animals bring joy
MANY mentioned their pets:
‘I love Rufus, his funny bark makes me laugh.’
‘I love when Ginny snuggles up to me at night and purrs’
‘I was happiest riding Jake on the beach.’
3. Children worry about their parents
MANY mentioned their parents, often expressing worry or concern:
‘Hope mum will be ok. She seems sad.’
‘Dad mustn’t worry. He’ll see me again soon.’
‘God will take care of my mum and dad when I’m gone’
4. Sweets do add sweetness to life
ALL of them loved ice-cream.
5. Telling and reading stories to children is a great way to connect
ALL of them loved books or being told stories, especially by their parents:
‘Harry Potter made me feel brave.’
‘I love stories in space!’
‘I want to be a great detective like Sherlock Holmes when I’m better!’
Folks, read to your kids! They love it.
6. Stop seeking approval; your real friends love and accept you the way you are
MANY wished they had spent less time worrying about what others thought of them, and valued people who just treated them ‘normally’.
‘My real friends didn’t care when my hair fell out.’
‘Jane came to visit after the surgery and didn’t even notice the scar!’
7. Nature and the little things mean a lot
Many of them loved swimming, and the beach.
‘I made big sandcastles!’
‘Being in the sea with the waves was so exciting! My eyes didn’t even hurt!’
8. Kindness connects us
Almost ALL of them valued kindness above most other virtues:
‘My granny is so kind to me. She always makes me smile.’
‘Jonny gave me half his sandwich when I didn’t eat mine. That was nice.’
‘I like it when that kind nurse is here. She’s gentle. And it hurts less’
9. Laughter relieves pain
Almost ALL of them loved people who made them laugh:
‘That magician is so silly! His pants fell down and I couldn’t stop laughing!’
‘My daddy pulls funny faces which I just love!’
‘The boy in the next bed farted! Hahaha!’
10. Dreaming and imagination inspire and uplift us
Kids love their toys, and their superheroes.
‘My Princess Sophia doll is my favourite!’
‘I love Batman!’ (All the boys love Batman)
‘I like cuddling my teddy’
11. Family is everything
Finally, they ALL valued time with their family. Nothing was more important.
‘Mum and dad are the best!’
‘My sister always hugs me tight’
‘No one loves me like mummy loves me!’ /11
12. Kindness and love are the most precious things in life
Take home message:
Be kind. Read more books. Spend time with your family. Crack jokes. Go to the beach. Hug your dog. Tell that special person you love them.
These are the things these kids wished they could’ve done more. The rest is details.
Oh… and eat ice-cream. /End
If you stop now and consider what truly gives meaning and joy to your life, you will find that it is not the material possessions, the job promotions or even losing weight that matter; rather, it is your relationships and the love you express to the people who matter the most in your life.
If you need help to forgive yourself or others so that you can express more love and enhance your relationships, book a one-on-one session with me.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.