The Malta Independent 15 October 2021, Friday

Smile, then smile some more

Monday, 20 September 2021, 08:46 Last update: about 25 days ago

Roselyn Borg Knight

It is indisputable that in the last few years, Malta has been through a lot – a merciless series of events hit our little country leaving all of us anxious and shell-shocked. It hurts me that people often mention how they wish they could leave Malta and so many complain to me about life in Malta as a consequence of these events.  

But whilst no one can blame us for being left feeling weary, bitter, tired, and untrusting, it’s time to get our mojo back.

Yes, we’ve been put through the wringer, and many of us would have left the country given half a chance, but apart from all the bad news, and a few greedy individuals who tried to take over the country deceitfully, Malta is beautiful, and life here can indeed be better than elsewhere. What’s done is sadly done, but the future awaits. We should count our blessings and build on them to make this future better.

Of course, justice still needs to be served and I have faith It will be served. We have also lost many of our loved ones to the pandemic. These persons will forever hold a place in our heart, but for the love of our country, our children and our well-being we need to move on and do whatever it takes to make life on this island beautiful again.  

As a politician, I will not stop harping about the importance of having more green spaces, preserving our environment and the consequences of living in a concrete jungle. As a human being, a regular citizen, I also know just how important it is that we change our own attitudes and frames of mind. It might sound cliché but we truly need to be the change that we want to see by changing our approach to life and being part of change. We can all contribute our time and Ideas in our own way and measure, some more, some less but all would be valuable to our goal.

The Partit Nazzjonalista has recently launched the campaign "Kun Il-bidla" (Be the change) with the aim of giving people a platform to reach out and also be part of the change that many wish for. The newly revamped party webpage allows for real time interaction and easy submission of feedback and ideas.  

Scrolling through social media and news portals, the anger and frustration is palpable. People are ready to spew out insults and hate speech like road rage on a hot summer’s day. The feeling is not just on social media but even out and about, on the streets and in shops. Everywhere you go you can feel a hanging sense of gloom or irritation, like everyone is about to burst into flames. We seem to have lost our patience and love for life because we’ve forgotten what truly matters - our health, and particularly our mental health.

Sadly, now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, the race seems to be on. We want to do more, achieve more, we’re adjusting to hybrid working, preparing for the new scholastic year and the newness of it all, and it seems to be all too much. People are all over the place, so much so that they’re abandoning the pets they adopted during lockdown (someone even burnt a cat alive) and scrummaging for the slightest excuse to argue and abuse each other.

We need to put a stop to this. We need to change our mindset to think more positively, but thinking positively is a skill requiring practice. It is scientifically proven that when we smile, even a fake smile, our brain releases hormones to help fight off stress. Many studies have also proven that those who have an optimistic outlook on life have a significantly lower risk of dying from several common diseases. This is because people who think positively tend to live a better quality of life, experience higher energy levels, and have lower rates of depression, all resulting in better health and longer lives.

Positive thinking and positive living do not however come about like magic. Of course, there are those of us to whom positiveness and optimism come more naturally, but we can all work towards seeing the world in a better light by focusing more on the positive things. We must be grateful for all the good that come our way, by not taking our families for granted, and perhaps by doing what works best for ourselves… being open to humour and spending time with positive people.

It’s all about going back to basics… figuring out what motivates us, what makes us content and going for it, but all the way maintaining a healthy work-life balance, not giving in to greed while remaining decent and civil to one another.  

I am a firm believer in the link between having meaning in life and achieving happiness but when it comes to finding meaning we need to think outside the box. Most of us have been brought up to believe that work, status, and money are what give life meaning, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. What gives life meaning is reaching our full potential and whatever that may be it always involves putting people’s feelings first, being kind and being fully aware of how we might affect other people’s days and lives.

Just remember, a smile costs nothing, a kind word can make a huge difference and a good gesture can go a long way in healing wounded souls and stressed minds.

 

Dr Roselyn Borg Knight

PN International Secretary

PN Candidate on the 9th and 10th district

 

 

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