Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Have A Dream

This post is about the fickle finger of fate.

OK, so we have had Sausage Fingers and Fish Fingers – what now, I can hear you asking – more fingers? But this is something altogether more serious. Perhaps I should have called this post Planning For The Unexpected. I know you can’t do that, but you should constantly be as ready as you’ll ever be for something to jump up and wreck your plans.

Not that my plans have been wrecked yet but I think that my attitude generally is that you should go for your dreams, large or small, in the full knowledge that an unplanned factor could prevent the achievement. The corollary of this, which some people never seem to grasp, is that you can prevent the achievement yourself by totally negative approach and dismissal of the dream. Or, just as bad, postponement, which is the same thing in the end. Put simply, you won’t achieve if you don’t try.

So what has brought about all this navel-gazing? Three things:

My wife Gay is hobbling round like an old person. This is as a result of bending to pick something from the floor a few days ago. The back went "ping" and the hobbling commenced. When we went to our village Afghan restaurant on Thursday evening, the proprietress said, “But you are sportive, you must be elastic!” Wrong – athletes are usually very inflexible, as well as being prone to catch everything going because they constantly deplete their resources in training. And at least as prone to injury as couch potatoes – more so.

My baby brother Paul – a mere stripling of 63 – is totally immobilised because, fresh from a wonderful holiday in the desert lands, including Petra and Jerash, he tripped over a Hoover and has seriously injured his knee. Vast quantities of fluid have been drawn off but he has to wait for the swelling to subside before it is known exactly what damage has been sustained. Anyone who knows Paul will understand how bad this injury is when I tell you that he is unable to attend a concert tonight by one of his guitar heroes, a concert for which the tickets have already been bought.

Either of the above could have happened to me before or during the walk and obviously this would have affected the achievement of my goal to a greater or lesser degree. There are some known areas of damage to my back and legs/feet, which are constantly at the back of my mind and which could activate to my disadvantage. I hope not.

But there is always the possibility of something more alarming. This morning a great sportsman, Severiano Ballesteros, lies in intensive care with a very serious illness, his family around him. A few days ago he seemed to be fine. I hope he soon will be fine again but the indications are not good.

My point is not that one should go around expecting to have an accident or to fall terribly ill. It is that, while being aware that something like that could happen, you should try to achieve your goal. You should prepare for it and make the attempt. If fate intervenes, so be it, but you will have tried.

I am a great believer in “going for it”, whatever “it” is. At the earliest opportunity. My heart sinks when I hear somebody say “one of these days I am going to …” or “I would love to but …”. You know these people will never start.

Martin Luther King had a dream. He said “I may not get there with you,” and he was right, but this did not deter him.

So, like Martin Luther King, even like Jonathan Livingston Seagull, dream your dreams, aim for the stars, glory in it if you succeed, be satisfied, if you fail, that you at least tried.

1 comment:

French for a While said...

I couldn't concentrate after 'our village Afghan restaurant.' Just thoughts of the great food.