Let’s talk about culture and
…The World Thinking Day 2014 on 22 February
When I first saw this
announcement I could not believe my eyes: a world thinking day and immediately some
thoughts sprang up like: why must we have a special day to start thinking…do we
need a push from the United Nations to make us aware of a sense they think we
have overlooked? Just as everything of any value gets a world commemoration
You know, when you start
thinking about it – I take the freedom to think of my own every minute of the
day – then a sort of a roller coaster starts developing and all kind of images appear
at the front of my mind.
What is thinking, really? A
simple answer: It is an automatic process on the basis of experience, using a
sort of math formula taking into consideration the facts weighed against
similar images already experienced. For a thinking process one needs a free vision,
self-confidence, time, distance and the freedom to make one’s own conclusions
and to live by them if possible. I think, emotions only play a secondary role
in the process, or should be disregarded altogether to get a proper image,
although emotions are also based on experience, as caused by smell, touch,
Do we live by this formula?
I mean the free thinking mode, not the one controlled by settings, settings of
time, daily schedule, traditions, do’s and don’ts ?
Usually one tries to find
the easiest way out, avoid complications and evil reactions by others, always
under cover; that is understandable and human, that has nothing to do with
thinking as through the thinking process we are supposed to find out all the
facts about a theme that stands in front of us, and we must regard it from all
To come back to the reason
for the ‘World Thinking Day’….it is not for us to start thinking but a day to
put up themes to think about for the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the
world…and it says…also by some boy-oriented associations….(why not including
all boy scouts and guides?) It is thought as an opportunity to think about
their ‘sisters and brothers’ around the world, the meaning of guiding and its
global impact. And on 22 February – which by the way is the birthday of the
founder of the Guiding and Scouting idea, Robert Baden-Powell and his wife
Olave Baden Powell, the World Chief Girls Guide. Each year they select a
special theme, for example focusing on a country to understand and appreciate
its culture and thus increasing awareness and sensitivity on global concerns. Other
themes are ‘Think about food, about water….about world poverty….. or: that empowering girls will change our world,
that was in 2011….not a bad idea…and for 2014 it is ‘Providing universal
access to primary education’.
In 1910 the founder Robert Baden-Powell decided that
girls should have their separate association to develop their character,
leading qualities and skills, also the ability to survive by their own strength
and resources and their motto is “Together we can change the world”.
There are Girl Scouts and Guides in Cyprus, one in the
South and one in the North; the one in the North is cooperating with the
association in Turkey which was founded in 1909 also.
I have met the then Chairwoman of the association, Dr.
Ayten Salih Berkalp; I had written down her life story on 17 pages which was
published in Cyprus Observer and on my website last year in four parts (just enter Heidi Trautmann and her name if
you want to read more about her). She was the perfect image of a girl guide.
The programme of the association is very idealistic
and I like it; it prepares young people much better for life and forms their
character. One of my boys was with the South African Boy Scouts so I know a
little about the organisation and motivations. The WAGGGS (World
Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) reaches 10 million girls and young
women in 145 countries located in five regions: Africa, Arab, Asia Pacific,
Europe and Western Hemisphere. WAGGGS also runs four World Centres: Pax Lodge
in London, Our Cabaña in Mexico, Our Chalet in Switzerland and Sangam in India.
which means that one should always be ready in body and mind to cope with a
situation. We could all do with some training with it, don’t you agree? At
least we can pick up the idea of starting to think about matters that count but
I would suggest that we make it an everyday habit, everyday a good deed, every
day a thought for others – which does not prevent us from having a good thought