I walk about with big, beautiful questions running through my mind. I don’t know what it means to be alive. I only know that we need to enjoy it.

Hanna Naude

Reflections of Life produces powerful short films that uplift the personal stories of ordinary people, with the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change. We feel blessed to feature video-stories that filmmakers Michael and Justine capture with expertise, and which so beautifully illustrate grateful living principles and themes. In this short film we hear from Hanna Naude.

Learn more about Reflections of Life (formerly Green Renaissance) through our Grateful Changemaker feature.

Video Transcript

The only part of myself that I truly love is my inner child. It’s also the only part of me that I nurture. I have thousands of pairs of striped socks that I buy for my inner child. I buy children’s shoes, in my size at least, that I wear, even if it is just around the house.

Everyone still has a small bit of their inner child within them, I hope. It’s that person with a twinkle in their eye that you can see from a mile away. That person who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Less of that, and more play.

We can’t always predict how life will play out. We are born alone and we leave this life alone. And in between, we pack our lives full with relationships. I had a husband for many years. And he died suddenly one day. I sat on that step and cried for days on end. And when I picked myself up from there, I realized I am half a person. I need to become two people. It isn’t enough for me to be a whole person. I needed to become two people. And two people is still not enough to raise three children. But I did it. And maybe it was a blessing in disguise, not that I lost my husband, but that I was reminded about who I am and what I can do.

That person that I needed to become could only be there if the person that I am remains healthy. It’s important to play, every day. It’s as simple as that. Even if it’s just walking along the river with my dogs, or playing with my children. Make time to be quiet and remember what you enjoyed doing when you were a child because it is there that it all began.

It’s important for us to remember that we all still have an inner child. And we need to nurture our own inner child so that we can help to nurture the inner child of those around us too. Because what will happen to us if we all allow our inner light to fade?

To be human is to embrace our humanity. I believe that we have a responsibility towards those around us. We are not here on earth to make other people feel bad about themselves. I really believe that. And we need to try to live with this in mind. Even if you don’t agree with somebody, they should still be able to walk away from a conversation with respect for themselves at least. Respect is often such a stiff and formal word. But respect is a beautiful word. It’s something that is easy to share with those around you. We just need to open our eyes and care about those around us.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “He who was taught by himself had a fool for a master.” There is so much that we can learn from other people. That I could mean something to other people because I was open to learning from them, rather than stubbornly believing I knew everything myself. To remain humble… that’s not too difficult.

Very little makes sense to me these days… that’s what starts happening as you get older. I feel like I understand less… I feel like I know less. I walk about with big, beautiful questions running through my mind. I don’t know what it means to be alive. I only know that we need to enjoy it. We need to live our lives in such a way that we can look back and know that we were happy and that we made others happy. It’s no more complicated than that, for me. It’s easier than we think it is. We just need to breathe slowly, live slowly, and from there it’ll all start to make sense, I believe.

To support Michael and Justine in their film-making journey, visit Reflections of Life.


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About the author

Justine and Michael are a creative couple living in South Africa.  Their project, Reflections of Life (formerly Green Renaissance), works to spread positive stories that reflect the wonder of the world. With the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change, they produce gorgeous short films that are posted online and available for anyone, anywhere, to watch and share freely.

 

Through their films, they explore what it means to be human. They touch on topics that can often be difficult for people to discuss – from loss of a loved one to aging and retirement to friendship to love and courage – universal themes that we all deal with at some stage in our lives.

 

By sharing these stories, Justine and Michael hope to remind us of one simple truth – that we are all human – that inside our hearts and minds, we are all facing similar challenges.  We have so much to learn from each other, and our connections run so much deeper and stronger than we think. Learn more and support their work at reflectionsof.life.