There are some fantastic projects going on around the world right now to help everyone on our planet to one of the essential human needs, water, notably the work being carried out by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When researching this topic I came across this description: “Human life, as with all animal and plant life on the planet, is dependent upon water. Not only do we need water to grow our food, generate our power and run our industries, but we need it as a basic part of our daily lives - our bodies need to ingest water every day to continue functioning.”

Our needs for water and clean water at that is taught at school and by those with education from childhood. But at what stage are we taught about self-love and self-care in a meaningful way related to our mental health? Surely this is an equal necessity to life, I mean we could get by on tea and fizzy drinks, though we are educated against the caffeine and sugar in high doses being adverse to our health – but why is self-love not a topic from nursery?

Certain schools and institutions of course have a bias towards a certain religion or even political view – but self-love is simple and pure and we can all be taught the fundamentals in the same way, without leaning to any particular religion or prerequisite beliefs. Now I speak about this as a 41 year old man having grown up in South West London and later Surrey, and from recent viewings of schools for my children, have seen a huge change in awareness of self-care, but still flooded out by the plethora of subjects, facts, data and exam preparations that our youngsters endure; so how can they possibly retain the information on self-care when bombarded by homework on multiple topics.

I want to challenge that self-love is as important as water, so let’s relook at the above statement, replacing water with self-love: “Human life, as with all animal and plant life on the planet, is dependent upon self-love. Not only do we need self-love to grow our food, generate our power and run our industries, but we need it as a basic part of our daily lives - our bodies need to ingest self-love every day to continue functioning.”

Thinking about where our society stands today on climate change, political uncertainty, and economic stability, it is apparent that with continued lack of self-love, as humans we will continue to abuse our planet; the way we grow our food, generate our power and run our industries. In this context self-love needs to be a basic part of our daily lives, a core part of our education system so that we produce generations that want to make a difference from their core, a meaningful difference that starts within, is communicated amongst our families, and fed through into our business and political decisions.

We are at a powerful point in our continued civilisation as a human race, with mental health and wellness a topic in a large number of companies, yoga and meditation almost as popular as fast food and alcoholic shots, and more and more campaigns encouraging men and women to talk about their challenges, rather than harbour within. A contribution we can all make to bring more peace and kindness starts from within – inside you. The decision to have respect for yourself, connecting to your values and offering kindness to those around you. Think about what more self-love would do to those that self-harm, use drugs and alcohol to escape, and even take their own lives.

As we approach 2020, we all have the opportunity to have a clear vision on our future; whether we want to avoid the topics that are causing our planet distress, or whether we grow from within, show bravery to make a change, join a group that wants to make a difference, standing united on creating a better world for our children and beyond. It is with these simple actions that we may build self-love and in turn improve society to continue functioning.