Moments That Last A Lifetime

Among other things, when I was a kid I used to read of knights, and heroes and daring individuals fighting for the truth and the safety of their family against all manner of evil. We all knew who the hero was, and evil was depicted in a way which made identification fairly easy. These heroes had qualities which seem unheralded now: chivalry, honour and selflessness.  They were people who would die for their community, or in defence of an idea without comment, tell the  truth, or spend days weeping over falsehood and protect the weak and innocent without agenda or thought of personal profit. How cleansing the thought of such a person is.

Has anyone actually been anywhere near this paragon. I’ve no idea , but I’m not holding my breath. Even so, by historical standards, comparing ourselves to our fellow man rather than to some absolute sense of honour or chivalry seems to reflect the modern approach to morality.  We are not necessarily better for it. Does it seem to you that our collective consciences, along with other redundant aspects of a former world, have drifted up the road for a sandwich and a lament over the good old days, and left us to our own devices. This may be an unsettling question, and I have no idea what the answer is myself, before you all rush to ask me.

There was a sense of  honour which said, “I have done wrong so I will resign or fall on my sword”. It is some years since I have read of a politician resigning on a point of principle, or because he insists on taking the ultimate responsibility for a decision taken well down the food chain of his department. Now honour among politicians seems more to do with seeming to remain innocent until you are found out, or passing the guilt to someone else with the speed of light. The honour of holding your hand up to your own failings and errors is hard to spot among our public “servants”.  where character  seems to be defined by comparison with the man next to you instead of some absolute perfection recognised by a superior being.

It is hard to spot the flaws of others, unless you are richly endowed with them yourself. In this regard I am particularly fortunate but I have stumbled across some strange discoveries in my journey.  I must admit I have heard the cock crow three times on more than one occasion and ducked the issue. Those moments live with you until you discover the courage to act differently. I have found, in real life, that the hero and villain both reside in us at the same time, and squabble with each other for the control of our actions.  But the most startling thing I have found is that  a moment  in which you are prompted to do something for a fellow human, without agenda or sense of personal advancement, unnoticed by those around you,  can end up being one of your most cherished memories and possessions.

No applause. No medals or celebrations but a sense of inner warmth. A brief meeting with the man you wish to be. A feeling of reassurance about the man you could be if you lived without grandstanding and took your conscience as your guide. A memory  which could be recognised anywhere as valuable by any faith or religion or lack of it in any country anywhere. What could provide a richer harvest  or a better place to stick your flag in the ground and say, “This is who I am and wish to be”.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, faith, Life, life2, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Moments That Last A Lifetime

  1. Ina says:

    To be noble and honest, such values mean a lot. If not for the applause, then for the sake of self-esteem. 🙂 For yourself. Good write!


  2. catterel says:

    Well written. First thoughts were yes, and how sad – then I remembered some of the less savoury rulers, politicians and statesmen of the past and decided today’s lot aren’t really all that different. Power corrupts. Attitudes and values change, often as pendulum swings – I believe there are still some men (and women) of honour and valour, who cherish the eternal ideal. Nil desperandum, Ducks!


  3. Abby says:

    “A moment in which you are prompted to do something for a fellow human, without agenda or sense of personal advancement, unnoticed by those around you, can end up being one of your most cherished memories and possessions.”

    Amen. Those are the moments I live for.


  4. e says:

    It seems humanity has become more human and used this as an excuse to vaunt tarnished ideals… Lord this world needs focus, a sense of purpose! We live now for gadgets and carnival tricks in our desperation for validation, when life itself is the riches we so desire…



  5. babs50nfab says:

    I would like to think our global connections through social media are exposing some of our less savory types. Eventually good will trump evil…but sometimes I’m a pollyanna type of girl. Great post Peter!


  6. Al says:

    A very topical post indeed, ducks.

    It seems to me that to achieve the noble aims you so correctly outline here, the very last thing you would want to be is a politician. So many who enter that arena with stately bearings leave it with a terrible corruption of character.


  7. nelle says:

    Well said. Hits rather close to home.


  8. winsomebella says:

    “It is hard to spot the flaws of others, unless you are richly endowed with them yourself.” So true!


  9. In Alcoholics Anonymous we have a “Just for Today card and part of one of the suggestions is “Just for today I will do someone a good deed and not get found out; if anyone knows it will not count…”

    The ego can certainly get in the way of this one! It seems such a simple task but it’s not always easy. Then when it’s been done theres a chance that an “egoesque” smugness could set in which, I think, also negates the good deed!

    You have given great food for thought here!

    Here are two quotes I like

    “It is discouraging bow many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit”
    Noel Coward

    “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”
    George Orwell



  10. My “best self” is a moving target. It changes moment by moment. Yes, I have guiding principles, but in each moment am I aware enough to make choices that reflect those principles or do I act on reflex or impulse? That is the test of my “best self.”

    Your post always me think. That’s why I love reading your blog, Peter!


  11. backonmyown says:

    Great post, Ducks. If I’m too often finding faults in those around me, I might need to look at myself, huh?


  12. Shonnie says:

    Lovely post my friend! Your refelects are heartbreakinly true. Maybe, just maybe if each of us tries to live in moments of that “man-we-dreampt-of being” –maybe the world would be a better place for just a few random acts of kindness. Thanks for the ponder.


  13. Aurora HSP says:

    Your flag is firmly planted in the blogosphere and judging by the fine writing, sentiment and well expressed words, I suspect you leave invisible flags wherever you go in the world. Nicely done.


  14. Caroline says:

    I have found, in real life, that the hero and villain both reside in us at the same time, and squabble with each other for the control of our actions.

    Good point well made. So true.

    Thank you for making me think this lunchtime


  15. eof737 says:

    Brilliant… With all the social media exposure we get, it has become harder for some to just do good for good ‘s sake… Life goes on! 😦


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