Imagine a candle burning at the centre of every table across the world where important decisions are being made. And that candle was lit to remind everyone there to hold at the heart of their decision-making process that nothing be done that would harm the children. What a different way to run our government, our industry, our commerce, our schools.
I learned about The Children’s Fire from Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney, the founder of Embercombe, who has been charged by elders of the native Americans to tell this story: When the native American chiefs first asked themselves ‘How do we govern?’ they looked to nature to guide them. When constructing their councils they sought a balance between male and female input and at the centre of every council circle they lit a little fire. This fire, the Children’s Fire, was to remind them at all times of their promise that: “No law, no action of any kind, shall be taken that will harm the children.”
Such a simple idea – and yet so profound. What would we do differently if we thought about the long-term impact of everything we do – that no action be taken that will harm the children? And then I bring the idea home and ask myself, what would change in my life if I were to keep that as a focus? I’m sure that it would mean that I would simplify my life. Less stress, less consumption, less driving, less doing. More being, more time for family and friendships, more sleep, more making, more growing.
I will start small – that’s always more likely to work for me – so first off, each time I wash my hands I’ll stop and take three deep breaths because I know that my stress and urgency affects our children.
What could you do to re-kindle the Children’s Fire?