Things that are Good

Created on 29/3/2008

I have been accused of ranting, and I have also been told that I am writing what many of you are thinking. Both of these observations have some truth in them. Despite my best efforts there are some of you who ask me if there are some things I am happy to say something good about. Of course there are.

In my office at home, where I write this blog are pictures of my family, smiling, happy photographs of people that I love. Nothing, except being in the room with them could give a person more pleasure than seeing those pictures.

I looked out of my window yesterday and saw two ducks walking on my lawn. They are clearly a bit confused as the River Lea, and the adjacent canals in this part of Southern England, are about a hundred metres away, but they are very welcome guests. The ducks spent the day with us, waddling up and down, quite happy to visit with us, and, although I’m no bird specialist, it was a pleasure watching them.

Now in danger of sounding like a nature boy, which I certainly am not, I have to admit to enjoying the first buds of the spring flowers. They’re brave, these possibly foolhardy flowers, coming out at Easter time in England, because the frost can easily return and kill them instantly. But thanks for showing your pretty faces to us, yet again giving promise of another good year to come.

Admitting to being a rabid Manchester United football fan I have to admit to a bias with my next choice of things that are good. Watching Cristiano Ronaldo play this season is one of those things. Unless, that is, you are a supporter of one of the teams that he’s punished with his beautiful skills. Not since George Best has there been a single player who is worth the price of admission by himself. If you get a chance to watch him, even on your television, do yourself a favour and do so.

Speaking to your friends every day should be a part of all our lives. It’s the best medicine for when you’re feeling down, or you can reverse the flow and be the giver of a smile to someone you care about and who cares about you. The same goes for family. We speak to each other, brothers and sisters, partners, kids and parents, cousins, all the time. It’s great to communicate, but don’t just speak at each other, try listening, and talking with each other. There is a difference.

I can remember setting myself a series of very real targets when I was a child. I refined this list when I was a teenager, and again when I was in my early twenties. I wanted to make a million pounds, win all kinds of awards, be a film maker by the age of eighteen, have a London film premiere by the time I was twenty-one etc. I achieved most of my list, and climbed my imaginary mountain, and when I got to the top I realised there were many more mountains to come. Over the years I also came to the realisation that the targets I had set myself were meaningless. What’s an award when set against the smile of a child you care about?

When we’re kids it seems like every day is an eternity and the things we want to do, not allowed to us until we’re bigger and older, will never arrive. Then there’s the rush of the teenage years, where everything is for the first glorious time. Before we know it we’re in our twenties and the responsibilities multiply, the realisation dawns that with these come problems and set against possible rewards are the chances of failure. Most of us get through this stage into early middle age, when we build and consolidate. Relationships, some build, mature and endure, some come to a natural end, leaving room for fresh hopes and potential, but all are to be learned from. Taking us to that point in our existence when we seek answers to eternal questions and rail against injustices, perceived or real. We take stock of ourselves and the world around us. Did we achieve what we set out to do? Was there a good reason to it all? Is the sum total of the love we get equal to the love we give? When people contemplate you do they think, or even better do they smile, or better still, do they think and smile?

Everyone has different answers to these questions, but if the balance is in your favour then you have lived a good life. It would be a very good thing if I have achieved any of this. There is still time for me I hope, and I shall keep trying to work toward the goal of being one of those things that are good.

How’s that, not one rant, can I keep it up?