Tuesday, 16 November 2010

William and Kate – wellbeing ambassadors?

William and Kate – wellbeing ambassadors?

As a UK based blogger with over 50% of my readership outside these shores, I felt that I really should mention the royal engagement. But as this is a healthcare blog, I must stay true to the brief so will shamelessly link today’s news to wellbeing.

David Cameron has recently launched an inquiry into the Nation’s wellbeing at the Google Zeitgeist Europe Conference (the what??)

(Thank you to Paul Roberts www.enlighten.co.uk for the link)

Cameron stated ‘Wellbeing can’t be measured by money or traded in markets. It’s about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture and above all the strength of our relationships’. Pretty words – but how can you measure these ethereal parameters?

I am sure that David Cameron is very pleased that there is some ‘feel good’ news hitting the UK headlines right now – it’s a lot more positive than job cuts, double dip recession and student unrest.  But what does wellbeing really mean? I believe that wellbeing in the workplace is about a feeling of ownership, about honesty and trust. About a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. About not being bullied (I have a ream of blogs to write about that). It’s not just about nutrition and health screening – although these do of course have their value. It’s about feeling good about who you are and where you work (or live). It’s about someone actually listening to your views and where possible acting on them. Caring and valuing your colleagues and having a real team spirit.

So back to William and Kate. The nation is rejoicing at two young people who appear to be genuinely in love. We know it will be a great party (In London we really are supreme at organising weddings and funerals) and there will most likely be a universal feeling of wellbeing on the day.

Maybe David Cameron should really investigate what makes us happy? As a Manchester United supporter (I hope that doesn’t mean I lose half my readership), being part of a crowd of 75,000 celebrating an injury-time home goal takes some beating. The fact that I’m fit enough to climb to the top tier of the stadium to my season ticket seats enhances my feeling of wellbeing but that doesn’t equal the buzz of being part of a stadium full of people all on the same side.

So while you ponder what real happiness and wellbeing means, let us also not forget the value of humour. As you can imagine, the UK news is completely dominated by the royal engagement. On the BBC – a hapless reporter was charged with interviewing a senior army officer, currently serving in Afghanistan, to ascertain the troops’ reaction to William’s good news. This wonderful, brave, cool soldier, when asked if he had any marriage advice for William answered – ‘Always keep a separate bank account’



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