But resistance is futile. So the talk in the Tavern, from a motley and diverse lot of folk (who says we don't do diversity here !) was of starting with the small stuff, early on, and changing one bed at a time. It can develop to change ourselves and the world.
The range of folk who spoke up was broad and started with a Dad: and an Admiral; a girl reporter (not Lois Lane, but one with no idea of how to make a bed); and a drill Sergeant (who did know), followed. And a Professor. Oh, and some scientists who counselled against it. Making beds, that is.
Drill Sergeants are fine fellows. I was a typical scruffy farm boy until taken in hand by a kindly and vocal Sergeant who could put at least three quite obscene words, usually about me, in a short sentence. Indeed, every sentence. He ensured I would never forget how to make a good start on changing the world.
And the sheets.
A Knigthood followed later. For me that is, not him.
Warwick Marsh of the Dads4Kids Foundation ...
...said he has been married to Alison for 42 years. He is the grandfather of seven grandchildren and father of five children, four boys and one girl, ranging in age from 36 years to 25 years. Warwick is a musician, writer, producer and public speaker who likes to think he can still laugh at himself. He started it.....
How to Change the World
I hate change because change brings challenge. I love my comfort zone. When someone asks me to change, I usually feel bad because there is a real likelihood that I was wrong in the first place. Most of us don't like being wrong. We all like to stay in our comfort zone.
I have always been a pretty messy person. When I was growing up I used to clean my room from time to time, but those times were infrequent and far between, often only a bi-annual event, which meant both my parents and I had to put up with my extended mess for a whole 6 months at a time, which was quite pathetic. To make matters worse I was lousy at making my bed.
After marrying, my wife objected to my messy habits and of course I objected to her objections. Funny that I had never really thought of myself as messy before then. Marriage and children is a process of self-revelation which at time can become very painful.As my children came along they began to leave their toys in the lounge room. I don't know if you have ever walked on hard plastic Lego blocks in the middle of the night but it sure is painful. Of course I yelled at my children and told them how messy they were. Then I suddenly remembered the area on my side of the bed, littered with dirty clothes and other odds and sods.My wife had been telling me to put my dirty clothes in the dirty washing basket for weeks, months, years even. I suddenly realized what a hypocrite I was and how I had to embrace positive change.It took me over a decade to get my dirty clothes in that laundry basket in the corner of the bedroom. Eventually I succeeded but the process of change has been annoying.
One of my strategies that I have used is to treat every attempt at the dirty clothes basket as a basketball shot in the hall of fame. It's called ego stroking. Now I could ask my children to clean up their offending toys with impunity.
After all this I still had my Achilles heel. I hardly ever made the bed so the burden of this always fell to my wife. Which in hindsight was terribly unfair.
I think the change started after having heard Admiral William McRaven's "Change the World by Making Your Bed" from The Art of Manliness blog.
#2 perhaps. The SAS and SBS tie for #1.McRaven is not only an Admiral but a navy seal Admiral. The US Navy Seals are one of toughest special operation forces in the world. Some rate the Navy Seals number one in the world.
Listen to the Admiral for a moment or three, then we shall let Warwick continue. US Navy Admiral McRaven, delivered this speech at a University ( which quite possibly started off the 'no-platform bizzo) about the importance of doing the little things like making your bed, embracing the fears of life, and changing the world for generations to come. I wondered who irons his uniform.These are the guys that took out Osama Bin Laden. These men are not to be messed with and they can all make their bed.
Admiral William McRaven points out that it only takes you a few minutes to make your bed first thing in the morning but it sets you up for success for the rest of the day.
I shall put a transcript of that at the end so you can copy and paste it, frame it and hang it in your children's rooms. Now back to Warwick.
Ahha, yes. The recently elevated to stardom Prof certainly has that as a good start. But he delves much, much further and ties many strands together very simply. And guess what ... it ain't new.Making your bed gives you a sense of achievement which can flow on into your other activities for the rest of the day.
I think a few months later (Prof) Jordan Petersen rammed the point home in his talk on why the best way to start to change the world is to make your bed and clean your room.
By 'kids' he includes girls. It is not just boys that are messy. Here is a teen girl's bedroom.You see I am one of the world's worst hypocrites. When people ask me what I am doing at any time of the day I often answer, "I am just trying to change the world." I would often add jokingly, "But it keeps springing back the wrong way." Who you might well ask is springing back the wrong way?'
However, this is the time when we must take a deep breath. Now is the time to adopt the 3 step process of positive change for both dads and kids through the Dads4Kids Positive Change Model.Rule 1: Don't get angry when people point out your inconsistencies - stay calm and collected and develop your own change strategy.Rule 2: Look at your own need for change first. Remember what Don Bowak said, "It's all about us . . . we must become the change we seek."Rule 3: When it comes to your children give them the direction they need. Then look for the moments when your children follow your directions and then give them lots of appreciation and praise.Accentuate the positive and de-accentuate the negative. This Dads4Kids Positive Change Model for change works in every situation. As Thomas Carlyle said, "Change indeed is painful but ever needful."
And here, perhaps, the married couple's bed an hour after the chap has gone to work.
Which brings us to the question of 'how'. Getting the kiddies' attention is all well and good but you have to show them how to do it.The good news is I am making the bed first thing in the morning 60% of the time and trying to lift the bar. It just goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks.
To bring change we must become the change we seek. This is the only sort of change that lasts.
Girls especially. You cannot expect them to have a genetic program for it just because the Missus has been on at you to shape up and seems to know the drill.
Here not-Lois, the girl reporter, gets some instruction from a very mild mouthed Sergeant (not at all like the horror I had).
Now I did say we had heard from some scientists who clearly were not impressed with all this 'tidy bed' lark. The BBC told us, and we all know how that organisation loves throwing chaos into things.
Hah ! Believe, eh?Untidy beds may keep us healthy
Failing to make your bed in the morning may actually help keep you healthy, scientists believe.
Research suggests that while an unmade bed may look scruffy it is also unappealing to house dust mites thought to cause asthma and other allergies.
By the Lord Harry. Really. Not in my cave there aren't.A Kingston University study discovered the bugs cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed.
The average bed could be home to up to 1.5 million house dust mites.
Gordon Bennett !! Can they start with Mrs May? Several Cabinet Ministers too?The bugs, which are less than a millimetre long, feed on scales of human skin and produce allergens which are easily inhaled during sleep.
The warm, damp conditions created in an occupied bed are ideal for the creatures, but they are less likely to thrive when moisture is in shorter supply.The scientists developed a computer model to track how changes in the home can reduce numbers of dust mites in beds.Researcher Dr Stephen Pretlove said: "We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body."Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die."In the next stage of their research, the scientists are putting mite pockets into beds in 36 houses around the United Kingdom to test their computer model and will investigate how people's daily routines affect mite populations.
A voice from a dark corner cried out... "Yeah ? Well wot abart Global Warmin then? Eh? Won't that kill off the mites and save heaps of taxpayers' monies on asthma? Bring on the CO2 and sabotage a windmill".Building features such as heating, ventilation and insulation will also be altered to monitor how the mites cope.
Dr Pretlove said the research had the potential to reduce the £700m spent treating mite-induced illnesses each year in the UK."Our findings could help building designers create healthy homes and healthcare workers point out environments most at risk from mites."Dr Matt Hallsworth, of the charity Asthma UK, said: 'House-dust mite allergen can be an important trigger for many people with asthma, but is notoriously difficult to avoid."Professor Andrew Wardlaw, of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, agreed.He said: "Mites are very important in asthma and allergy and it would be good if ways were found to modifiy the home so that mite concentrations were reduced."It is true that mites need humid conditions to thrive and cannot survive in very dry (desert like) conditions."However, most homes in the UK are sufficiently humid for the mites to do well and I find it hard to believe that simply not making your bed would have any impact on the overall humidity."
Make the bed.
And have a drink.
PS. That transcript....
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you'll never be able to do the big things right. If, by chance, you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made. That you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
To pass SEAL training, there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One is the night swim. Before the swim, the instructors joyfully brief the students on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente. They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark. At least not that they can remember. But you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position, stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid. If the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you, then summon up all your strength and punch him in the snout, and he will turn and swim away. There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim, you will have to deal with them. If you want to change the world, don't back down from the sharks.Over a few weeks of difficult training, my SEAL class, which started with 150 men, was down to just 42. There are now six boat crews of seven men each. I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had was made up of little guys, the munchkin crew, we called them. No one was over five foot five. The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African American, one Polish American, one Greek American, one Italian American, and two tough kids from the Midwest. They out-paddled, out-ran, and out-swam all the other boat crews. The big men in the other boat crews would always make good natured fun of the tiny, little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny, little feet prior to every swim. But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the nation and the world, always had the last laugh, swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your colour, not your ethnic background, not your education, not your social status. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not by the size of their flippers.The ninth week of training is referred to as Hell Week. It is six days of no sleep, constant mental and physical harassment, and one special day at the mud flats. The mud flats are an area between San Diego and Tijuana, where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana sloughs, a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing cold, the howling wind, and the incessant pressure to quit from the instructors. As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some egregious infraction of the rules, was ordered into the mud. The mud consumed each man until there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit. Only five men. Just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold. Looking around the mud flat, it was apparent that some students were about to give up. There were still over eight hours until the sun came up. Eight more hours of bone-chilling cold. The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud, it was hard to hear anything.Then one voice began to echo through the night. One voice raised in song. The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm. One voice became two. And two became three. And before long, everyone in the class was singing. The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing, but the singing persisted. And somehow, the mud seemed a little warmer, and the wind a little tamer, and the dawn not so far away.If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person. A Washington, a Lincoln, King, Mandela, and even the young girl from Pakistan, Malala. One person can change the world by giving people hope. So if you want to change the world, start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair, that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when the times are the toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up, if you do these things, the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today. And what started here will, indeed, have changed the world for the better.