Came across an old friend from University today. I remember them as one of the crowd. Decent, friendly but not one to stand out especially. Their career has been truly impressive, involving medals, meeting heads of state and generally moving with the big boys.
It just goes to show, when you look at young people, that you can’t really tell how their life will unfold. As you may have realised if you’ve read my blog. My career has been, shall we say, a bit more varied and uncluttered by public recognition. Materially I am hanging on by my fingertips. In a sense this is not good and I suffer from all the anxieties you would expect from someone in my situation.
The problem has its roots in my perspective. I normally take the long view and am not inspired by vanity, self-importance or many material goals. I take great pleasure in the “small” things, like seeing the buds grow in spring; wildlife, history and the bravery and dignity so often shown by those in deprived areas. Kindness and tolerance of action and attitude, displayed by those who are largely unaware of their qualities ,and make no attempt to draw attention to their deeds, always inspire and impress me. The fact that a man can behave so well under some circumstances and so poorly under another is a wonder to me. Shackleton is a prime example of this.
All this sounds fine, I’m sure, but the downside is I’m on the scruffy side tend to say what I think, either by action or attitude which makes me a poor operator in the corporate world, and I can be amazingly absent-minded. I have a low appreciation of objects as opposed to experiences and lack the focus and competitive instinct it takes to make real progress within a company. I’ve been called a “barbarian” because of my lack of expertise with an iron and a “spartan” by those who are frustrated by my lack on interest in acquiring objects.
Given this I am lost in awe of my former fellow student has navigated so successfully through their career and now enjoys the fruits of this endeavour. I know a number of succesful people. They often look at me with bewilderment thinking how can someone of competent intelligence have finished, ( for the moment at least ) with so little. I think the reason is I just never took my career seriously enough. Often being diverted by the view and events along the way. Not all bad mind you. I have done a fair bit of travelling and had some great adventures. My partner, who is significantly less eccentric than me, finds some value in my presence and , for this, I can be eternally thankful.
Hence my heading. Many of those who take “the larger view” often end up with little. At present I have a roof, which is marvellous, and food to eat. I am very aware that this is not a given. If I become more prosperous, by some chance or other, I should like to do something for those whose view of the world is currently unencumbered by shelter. My heart always goes out to them and their difficulties make any I am facing myself seem like small beer
Over and Out