Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:

Do you want to leave your mark in a well-known record book? Or simply to make a difference?

Do you look at base-jumpers, extreme ironers (yes, they exist) and high-wire walkers as role-models? Or bonkers?

Have you done something heroic once in your life and now retired to anonymity?

Would you jump into a freezing canal to save a life? And would you want credit for that somehow?

Maybe your sort of record would be more sedentary? Most TV box-sets watched back-to-back? Perhaps pie-eating? Or even silence? Would people pay good money for you to shut up? Not you, Emma.

I don't wish to rubbish the idea of records. But it's amazing how many there are these days. Boxer Lee Haskins is going to attempt the record for the world's highest hair cut. Would you want to do that? Well I'm not arguing.

Citius, altius, fortius - faster, higher, stronger - has its attraction for many. To be able to say, 'I was once the best at something.' Well it might be nice.

There was a woman in my previous parish, who would certainly not want her name mentioned on the radio, whose life's work was to foster life-limited babies. She also had one adopted son; a lovely lad with Down's syndrome. I'd give her a medal tomorrow.

The sad news that explorer Henry Worsley had died attempting an unaccompanied crossing of Antartica reminded us all this week that record attempts are not all a bit of fun.

The Bible insists that every member of God's creation is unique and special, record-breakers, heroes or not. Maybe all I can do is go home and carry on trying to be the best me there is. It's a thought.

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