Learning from a Royal Wedding

For those of my readers who know that I am British, it will not surprise you to know that this week’s column features the highlight of our year – the wedding between Prince William and Katherine Middleton.

On Friday, we witnessed a royal wedding in the beautiful Westminster Abbey. The wedding itself was an inspiring event, watched by over two billion people around the world. Dignitaries, royalty and celebrities from hundreds of countries attended this momentous, festive occasion.  The bride was breath-taking in her white wedding gown which trailed behind her along the deep, lush red carpet of the abbey.  She started the morning as a commoner and ended it as a royal Princess, a Duchess, a Countess, a Baroness and, most important of all – a wife.

The event was full of romance and pageantry, which we British love.  The massed colour of the Regiment of Guards, the millions of well-wishers and the richness of it all, was quite spectacular.  The outpouring of goodwill for the royal couple, was touching and reinforced the position of the British monarchy. The wedding sparked a Twitter and Facebook frenzy as millions joined in the celebrations online.

Communities coming together

In the evening, I watched the highlights of the day on television which included the multi-ethnic street parties that took place throughout the day.  People came out of their homes to be together, sit together and enjoy the spectacle.  Some of them said that they didn’t know their next door neighbours until that very day and it made me wonder as to why it has to take a special event for people to come together to share common interests.

This week’s street parties showed people celebrating the royal wedding in a traditional way with everyone coming together and sharing ethnic customs and food all with multi-cultural enthusiasm.    Everyone joined in the celebration, young and old. Flags were hung from the lampposts and children had the British Union Jack painted on their faces as they danced and sang, and ate. This was a community coming together and interacting in a way that was so important – a neighbourhood coming together as one.  People talking to strangers who had never before spoken a word to each other.

It made me wonder, why do we have to wait, sometimes forever, before we talk to our neighbour or our colleague at work.  It is just so nice to have someone who will ask us how we are, if we had a nice weekend and how are our family.  But because our lives are so hectic, these simple courtesies are forgotten.  We spend our lives texting and emailing instead of actually talking to people, face-to-face in order to establish and re-establish a relationship. This is the wonder of technology but I believe that something is lost to us in everyday conversation with those whom we really care about and for others that we are too busy to talk to.    When you ask someone how they are, do you wait long enough for a response or have you already moved on to something, or somebody, else?  Life and work are important – but so is finding time to communicate with your husband, your wife, your children, your friends, your neighbours and your colleagues at work – about the ordinary things of everyday life. They may seem ordinary but they are really important, because they bring a sense of community, of togetherness.

If we communicate well with each other, we feel better and we work better.  And as far as industry is concerned, if you want to get more from your team, then talk to them.  If you want to manage a difficult situation at work, then diffuse it by talking to the affected parties.

Smile and world smiles with you

We don’t necessarily need a Royal Wedding to bring us all together but it certainly does focus our minds on the genuine feelings of everyone around us.

Smile and say ‘Hello!’.  It costs nothing but the return on investment will be enormous and you may find a new friend for life.

This celebration certainly put a smile on Britain.  Try it for yourself today.

Key Points

  • A royal wedding can bring people together
  • When people come together it makes a community
  • Talking to your neighbour and colleague can engender a sense of belonging

[Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News

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