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Princess Di: Living Up to a Legend


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Written shortly after Princess Di’s death and published October 1997 in The Other Press.

Princess Di, England’s Rose, is really a rose to many people. The phenomena we saw in the media, on the streets, at British Consulates, all over the world, show just how precious she was. People need to remember this day, this lady, and the vulnerable love and compassion that she displayed in her life and that many of her admirers felt as they came together to mourn her death.

She had qualities that we admired and connected with. She lived her life openly, showed us her human frailties, and hugged lovingly those whose hearts were in need. The pictures televised around the world showed that many of us had taken this opportunity to allow ourselves the freedom to be human, to cry. One television reporter even commented on the openness among the many people who had taken to the streets; people opened up to each other, were more willing to speak up and take time to talk to strangers.

A tragic event should not, although it has, be a catalyst to give us permission to be human and let our true selves free. Is there a new possibility for us all? Can we take the legacy left by Princess Diana and continue to display our compassionate nature, become more forgiving, and live more peaceably? I think we can, if we open our eyes and see what was evident during the ten days or so following her death. As individuals we all have a personal responsibility to do good works and be kind, no matter how small. The lesson to be learned, as hard as it may seem, is to trust our hearts, break down our barriers, and realize the power of human compassion.

Many of us are witnesses to tragedy every day: the homeless, poverty, unemployment, genocide, and war. We feel sympathy towards those that suffer and yet we feel powerless. Some of us even forget to display within our own homes the love and compassion we believe in. That is understandable: We are human and we let our difficult lives get in the way of our true nature, suffocating our ability to display acts of kindness. When we do show acts of kindness to others we feel peaceful, rewarded and happy. This is what society needs on a whole.

We are a society, a world society, with many diverse and fractured sub-cultures, groups and societies, but we are still human first. To that end we can work together, as compassionate human beings, in non-violent ways, with love in our hearts, and bring changes to the world. If you wonder how, look again at the way Princess Diana led her life and touched millions of lives. She gave freely of herself to children, victims of war, and brought people together and crusaded for a better world.

The British media commented on renewed national unity being shown as never before in Britain for Princess Diana’s funeral. Even Ireland mourned her death and felt the loss; a country with a rich history of despising the British and the monarchy. My only wish and hope is that her influence helps us create a stronger global unity. This should be our endeavour, the unity of all humankind.

Each of us has tremendous influence in some aspect, whether it is within the family unit, the community, city, government, school, and so on. We all have minor roles and some of us have larger roles of influence. The power of the individual, unified with others of like minds and hearts has tremendous influence over the direction our futures will take. Not just our futures in our own countries, but those of others who are more in need in other parts of the world. This is how Princess Diana conducted her life, by exercising her influence.

You may ask “what can I do about it?” It really is simple. Take personal responsibility for the conduct of your own life and the relationships you have. Most of us already do take personal responsibility and set a good example within our families and social groups. That itself will do much, but you may also take on more if you look a little further. How can you improve your neighborhood? Who else is interested and supportive of change? Together we stand a better chance of making change, if we aren’t afraid to speak out and get involved.

How should we conduct our lives? Let us look to the Queen of Hearts’ life and examples for that answer. Let us look into our hearts for the desire: Forgiveness, love, compassion, understanding, concern, caring, and recognition of our own human weaknesses lest we leap to judge others’ errors too harshly. We can end suffering for many people and raise healthy and supportive children who will lead future generations with acts of kindness; simple acts of kindness. Do you think evil can remain evil forever if we always forgive and continue in kindness? Is it not possible that your examples will contribute to the positive growth of others? Of course it will. Evil only begets more evil, but goodness begets goodness. If we stand up for something we believe in with courage, don’t you think we will give courage to someone else to come forward and lend their support? Absolutely!

Lee Down is a professionally trained Spiritual Life Coach committed to the development of the human spirit. His vocation and business, One Man Can Human Capital Development has evolved from human resources, to career and life coaching until the inspired writing, also available on his site, paved a new path into the realms of Spirit. Discover power, passion, and purpose. Enjoy abundance, love and fulfillment.

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