Very often, for inspiration I use ‘international days of the year’ as a prompt to encourage and motivate others.  This time the whole month of January celebrates Life. 

I liked the thought of celebrating life, the fact that we are alive and that we have choices over our lives is empowering.  There are some who are not dealt the best ‘hand of cards’ but sometimes it is about how you manage those situations, than the situations themselves. 

I recently attended a prison open day, where businesses who have something to offer offenders to help them stay away from re-offending. 

I was approached by many, but one particular case left an impact upon me.  As I met someone who I would say had been dealt a ‘bad hand’.  Seemingly without malice or intent for the crime, the offender was serving a good number of years behind bars.  Our conversation progressed and the offender talked about buying a plate, knife and fork to use when he was able to leave the prison, I was puzzled at first, until he explained that part of being a prisoner meant he hadn’t been able to use a proper knife and fork in years.   As the conversation came to a close I finally asked and what do you really need to enable you to live successfully outside of the prison and, with emotion, the offender replied ‘I need to forgive myself, in order to move forward’.   

In hindsight, our conversation brought into focus many things I take for granted, the furniture I sit on, knives and forks that are at my fingertips, to the choices I am able to make to live peacefully.

 I think perhaps now is the time to celebrate life