PG's Tips for Survival at the RHN


Sidney was looking forward to the celebrations, but he was looking back too - over his life, and what had happened in the world since he'd been born.

'Memory is a strange thing,' he said to himself. 'It tends to select, at random, those parts of our lives which are painful or very happy. You never can tell what it's going to unearth - rather like excavating for that hideous, overrated and expensive Dome-thing (not a great fan of wasting money, was our Sidney).

He allowed his mind to wander over his past life, as he remembered the milestones of history in his lifetime. For example, Sidney could recall where he was when President Kennedy was shot; when Martin Luther King made his 'I have a dream' speech, when Neil Armstrong uttered those incredible words, 'One small step for man ...' - and that was just the '60s!

It wasn't a case of proving that he hadn't lost his marbles (yet), but more a reassurance that he was still in control. But in control of what? His own future? Hardly, since he had no control over his past, any more than he had control over his memory.

What really made Sidney fed up were other peoples constant moaning about the present - let alone what the future might hold. 'Life is too short to worry about things,' says one of the moaners, paradoxically - little realizing how true this is. If only everyone took this attitude, there wouldn't be all the personal discontent and unhappiness. If only we realized this and patched up grievances, and misunderstandings with relatives and friends, before the future caught up with us!

Sidney had recently received news of the death of one of his school friends, whose sister wrote of 'David' that 'he focussed not on the "What if?" nor the "Why me?" but rather "What am I going to do today?"'

So what was good for 'David' was definitely good for Sidney, as he looked forward to each new day.

Written by Peter Gow
December 1999
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