Share Your World (SYW) is a weekly writing blog challenge hosted by Melanie at Sparks From a Combustible Mind which invites answers to four questions. For this week’s #SYW challenge, the questions, and my answers, are:
Are You A Better Listener or Speaker?
As is often the case, there is no single answer other than ‘it depends’. On balance, I probably listen more than I speak, for example when I meet new people, attend meetings or have conversations with my children. However, when I’m at work in my ‘day job’ or the topic of discussion is one I know lots about and/or feel specially passionate about sometimes I speak more than I listen. Whether I’m better at one or the other is for others to judge.
If You Were Asked To Design A Warning Label That Would Be Tattooed On Your Skin, What Would It Say?
Odd though it may seem, I have thought about this so I have no hesitation in answering. I would have ‘do not attempt chit-chat’ tattooed on the back of my scalp as a warning to hairdressing juniors (the hardworking young men and women who assist stylists by doing the hair washing, colouring, blow drying etc).
I don’t understand why people who work in hair salons feel they have to try to engage absolutely every customer in the same kind of conversation about holidays, going out that evening or the weather. I much prefer sitting quietly watching them work or observing others in the salon. I know some people enjoy the chat and are happy to reciprocate, but I’m not one of them. I am always polite but I wish trainee stylists would learn to spot customers who don’t want to chat. That would make a trip to the salon a much more pleasant experience for both of us.
What Are You Passionate About?
So many things! Apart from the obvious (my family, writing, reading), Scottish history is a passion as is walking through the beautiful scenery on my doorstep.
If You Could Change One Thing About Your World, What Would It Be?
This question is about MY world rather than THE world so I’m going to take the easy option and think narrowly about what’s going on around me right now. In the UK where I live, a mess of gargantuan proportions has been unfolding for the past couple of years following the narrow vote to leave the EU. Politicians, often within the same party, fight each other, the organisation which led the campaign to leave acted illegally, some people want another vote, businesses are moving out of the country, warnings from economists, business and the finance sector about what will happen once we are out of the EU are becoming increasingly shrill. At the same time, the behaviour of our political leaders has been woeful. Pressing on regardless with a decision secured through illegal campaigning, and which every authoritative report concludes will be more or less damaging, is not leadership. Pursuing party advantage above the economic prosperity of the UK, and the health, wellbeing and security of its people, is not leadership. This is what I would change about my world right now. I’d swap our current UK political leadership for people capable of putting the principle of service for the public good before personal or party advantage when it really matters.
And finally, what gave you a reason to smile in the past week?
I met one of these.