Monday, November 16, 2009

Neee...Oh.... Daaaaaad!

A while ago a writing competition was posted.

This is my entry:

To : My sons, as you approach adulthood

My Dear Sons,

I have always told you that the most we can expect is that you do your best, for all, and in support of all the right reasons.

What I have before now neglected to add was that you must never stop doing it. Follow those two principles and while you may never get rich monetarily, at the very least you will find a sense of purpose and rewards in other ways with, if you are lucky, the bonus of a legacy to be proud of.

But you only have one life, so don’t beat yourselves up on it; live it to the full as best you can, whilst you try and DO the best you can.

Now considering the topic theme I would like… need to make an apology. Not for anything I have done (though there are many things for which I am sure I should), but I am sorry to have been part, so far, of an ongoing failure.

It is the failure of my generation, plus one at least above (and a few below) to have sensibly managed very well this precious planet that all our futures so depend upon.

At one time I could offer the reason, if not excuse, of ignorance, and even less credibly, being ‘too busy’. This can no longer be true, of me or any in a position to effect necessary changes; from voters to those in, or seeking power with their blessing. Plus all those who also are attached to and can influence the process of local, national and global governance. Media, activists, etc. You know who your are.

Where the message is so key, so many messengers, often self-appointed, have failed with the importance of getting it through. Yet still so few seem able, or willing, to look inward and cease blaming others for failing to understand, but instead to hold them…ourselves to account for being so poor at explanation and/or persuasion.

It’s not enough to believe, you need also to convince by the power and skill of argument. Turning incomprehension or the shake of a head into a nod is an art, and a very rewarding one to cultivate. Do it well and you not only create converts; you make new friends. Always a plus.

Sadly, despite my best efforts at self-education, I must confess to still remaining confused on much of what to do for the best. And I fear the human condition, and all its manifestations, today, are simply too much for one person or even ‘leaders’ to get fully to grips with global issues sensibly in any form to simply hand me the answers on a platter. I don’t think most 'know', or can 'know' either. There is a strong case for admitting ignorance, so long as you show commitment to filling that gap quickly.

All I am aware of is that there is much that seems very broken, and hence needs fixing. And that we as individuals are well equipped in this regard, with our minds and our hands, to tackle the challenges ahead.

I give my pledge therefore to do my best to help support all laudable aims based upon just causes. It is all I can do to live up to what I have tried to inspire in you. And that is to do our best to spare humanity going to waste.

I might fail, at least in my lifetime. I hope not. But at least I will know I tried. So I invite you to join me. Always follow the positive path if you can, but don’t be afraid, especially of outside and especially peer pressure, to challenge what you feel is wrong. And remember, a question is not a threat (or should not be) if it invites an answer that moves the discussion along. Stay true to your instincts, but never be too proud to find out more, or admit error… and then be quick to change. And evolve. Seek to inspire rather than suppress; you may win arguments but hearts and minds can be much more sensitive, and hence of great value to win on side. And don’t be afraid to lose, so long as it has been for the right reasons. That said, see merit, and no shame in sticking to your guns to gain victory. People love, and support winners. And we all need the support of those around us.

Most of all, whilst there can and will be valleys to balance the peaks, only do what you do if you truly enjoy it. Bitterness or frustration are poor companions on the road to success. And while I do no decry words alone (this is a letter after all), never forget the value of setting examples, especially through DOING. The result of the smallest effort in this regard can place you way ahead and above the loftiest pronouncement or claim, no matter how high the author’s perceived pedestal.

If nothing else, this notion is something, I hope of value, that I can give to you now: not just to hope, but to try as best you can to make the world a better place.

If we do, others might. And in banding together we can make anything happen. Who knows, this may even register with a few in power too, if enough of us walk the walk as well as expecting that we all talk sense, and with honesty.

Never miss the opportunity to take pause to listen... every step of the way. Broadcast-only devices make poor communicators.

Oh, and if you can get to wangle decent careers to support you families whilst doing all that, your Mum says she will be thrilled to.

With love,


Not sure I dare show it to the little sods yet, mind. Their new XBox game has just arrived.

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