Compassion is a funny thing isn't it? Human emotions are complicated and difficult to understand; sometimes we can barely understand ourselves, let alone others. Motivations and reasons behind our actions and behaviours and responses can intersect, and finding the true root of a problem can seem impossible at times. Often, it isn't the answer we expect.
Whether it's that perpetual pile of clothes in the corner you're waiting to someday turn into gold, a self-proclaimed disability which renders you unable to refrain from interrupting, or a knack for timing your exit just so, so that someone else is continually left to do the washing up, now's the time to extinguish these habits before they turn into next year's resolutions.
Are these experiences from 2013 familiar? You arrive on a train and are greeted by a message warning of the penalties awaiting those with incorrect tickets; you arrive at a department store and notice a security guard; you are slightly behind with your Council tax payments and a top-hatted bailiff turns up on your doorstep.
"Blimey Sandra that avocado must have been the size of a beach-ball!" An average avocado (150g) contains 240 kcal and Sandra had put on the equivalent of over 10,000kcals or 41 avocados in one week. I worried about this for some time. How could someone see things in such a way that was impossible for someone else to understand?
A brain chemical called dopamine may be responsible for more of your choices than you think. This much-misunderstood neurotransmitter, whose original function was to ensure our survival, has been somewhat hijacked by the modern world, meaning that more of us are likely to fall prey to addiction and other unwanted behaviours.
During Climate Week (March 4-10) I am putting this theory to the test with a Fun and Games to Save the Planet event at the London Science Museum on March 6 and we are inviting people from all walks of life to come and 'have a go'.
I was recently at University College London to hear a talk on behaviour change. "Nudging methods ... have become increasingly popular" read the blurb. "Underlying all of this, however, is the nagging question of whether it is ethical, desirable or sustainable to be nudging people in a desired direction." Indeed. "Or, is it a case of technological fudging, where we may be covering over deeper problems?". Well, yes it is, I thought.
Exactly a year ago, hundreds of kids misbehaved really badly, so why has nobody asked the question? Have we - society, government, family - done something wrong? Why the loud silence? Oh, sorry, I forgot - they are they just nasty little rioters, and should go to prison. There is nothing else to ask. Where is the reflection, the understanding, the questions? Those arrested during the riots mainly came from deprived areas and had the poorest educational backgrounds. They set fire to their own communities, and looted consumerist goods − plasma TVs, "branded" fashionable electronics and expensive shoes. Why did they do what they did?