I greatly enjoyed visiting a good friend of mine who runs a school the other day. I asked him what he felt was one of the most pressing needs in his school today. His response interested me – he said “establishing peaceful pockets where children can opt out, be quiet, catch their breath and breath deeply again.” I have reflected on this and realise how busyness consumes so many of our lives. Unless we are busy we feel fruitless and that our lives lack meaning and definition. In the same way, schools are often driven by packing their programmes as full as they can. A response by many institutions is a minutes reflective silence at the start of a day but I’m not sure that a minute is enough. Young people, in fact all of us, need to learn the value of space, peace and being at ease in our own company.
We may find it difficult in our lives to find a peaceful place in the physical. I’m not sure that this always matters. I would argue the importance of laying aside distractions like mobile phones and taking yourself to a place where you cannot be disturbed and you can move in to your own world. I really believe that learning to live at peace with ourselves is a big part of our wider well being.