I don’t think anyone could have predicted the volume of stressful, unexpected events which have happened recently.
Today is my 43rd birthday. I would’ve been born at 6 pm during the World Cup, in Glasgow. These days, when I think of Glasgow, I tend to think of Tommy Whitelaw or Sir Muir Gray.
When Sir Muir Gray was once asked by Eddie Mair what he would like to be spoken to as, the reply came “Muir’s fine. That’s my name.”
Whatever achievements other people have or don’t have, I think we should all avoid being so judgmental. I know what it is like to have your reputation demolished. Recently, I even had experience of ATOS that I don’t have any needs at all as a disabled citizen.
But it’s easy for us all to forget what is going right with the world. Even with the mudflinging about the safety of cladding in the Grenfell Tower block, the community response has been sensational.
I rang up my previous employers (pro bono) at the North Kensington Law Centre last week. They haven’t stopped for a moment. Imagine for a second having your hopes and dreams being obliterated instantly.
Whatever problems you might have, never underestimate for a second what others are dealing with in relative silence. It never ceases to amaze me what pressures and worries people harbour in total silence.
Inequality and lack of fairness can only make me angry, but, having survived a six week coma exactly ten years ago, having had a cardiac arrest, I must emphasise that the only way is to look constructively to the future.
I don’t blame people getting focused on the minutiae in their own lives, micromanaging every minute detail, but it is worth remembering that successes can disappear as quickly as they come. And so thankfully can failures.
Despite the innumerable inadequacies of my own life, I am more than aware of the remarkable kindness of certain individuals who do not need to keep busy to promote their own self-worth.
I’ve always held that anything can happen to anyone at any time, and I think that all any of us can do is to die with the minimum number of regrets possible.
We are all on a steep learning curve, however titled, qualified or experienced, and, to remind us of someone who died exactly one year ago just days before her birthday and mind, there’s a lot more which unites us than divides us.