The typical fairytale wish scenario usually involves something like a genie, or a golden fish, or a sand fairy appearing and offering to grant the hero or heroine some wishes. Ella Enchanted, one of my kids’ favourite films has a twist though. The fairy Lucinda makes wishes/gifts on behalf of the heroine, rather than letting her wish directly. This got me thinking – if you were given three wishes, that you could only use by wishing for things for other people, what would you choose?
1: Thankfulness for the everyday
First on my list of ‘gifts’ would be to allow people to see and be thankful for the good things in their lives. I know a lot of people are going through hard times and we can’t always be super-cheerful, but we’ve all got that friend, either at work, on Facebook or who we run into at the store who seems to always have the ability to see the cloud rather than the silver lining. A great meal, a nice holiday, a gift from a loved one – they always manage to find the flaw and fixate on it. I’d like to give these people the power to see the light rather than the shadow.
2: Enjoyment of books
It probably sounds a bit frivolous – hardly up there with world peace – but I get so much out of reading and books, that the fact that some people proudly say the only things they ever read are the sports pages of tabloid newspapers makes me a bit sad. I can’t imagine missing out on being able to delve into new worlds, wear a new skin, be a different person and see and feel new things for less than the price of a new shirt. So I’d wish that not only would people read more, but that they’d have the confidence and reading ability to enjoy losing themselves in stories.
3: A living wage/citizen’s income
Governments across the world are making stern faces about financial crises and talking about the need to tighten our belts and cut back, but they seem oblivious to the fact that many people, especially the disabled, single parents, the elderly and those who are unemployed/on low incomes are already struggling for survival. Particularly in the UK, the system seems slanted to reward those who are already rich while punishing the poor for not having money in the first place. So I’d wish for a citizen’s income – available to everyone, at the level of a living wage (not minimum wage, which is below the level required for a basic standard of living). In the UK, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, this would equate to:
- a single working-age adult needs a budget of £200 per week;
- a pensioner couple need £240;
- a couple with two children need £470; and
- a lone parent with one child needs £285
Over to you…
If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? Please leave a comment below.