By Bill Storie
I was raised as an only child. Maybe mum and dad saw how I turned out and said one was more than enough. I never asked, they never said. Too late now.
But I suppose it did help in many ways. Firstly, unlike many of you I didn’t have to share my things or my bedroom or my bike when I eventually got one (and promptly fell off). I didn’t have to niggle away at anyone and now in my latter years I don’t have to play nice with brothers or sisters. Some days I envy those who have siblings then I wake up and realize I’m fine just the way it is.
So, I learned to entertain myself, feed myself, work things out alone, study alone, sing alone (thankfully, many would say), make decisions without consulting anyone. Some would call me independent, some would call me stubborn, and probably some just wouldn’t call me at all. C’est la vie.
I enjoy my own company. Now I don’t mean to the exclusion of family and friends, not at all, but if I find myself alone in the office, or at home, or at a football game, I’m quite content. I like going to the theatre when I’m travelling on my own. In fact in some ways I prefer it because I don’t have to share my opinion of the play or whatever it is. I can just stand up and walk out at the end.
Why am I chattering on about this you may be asking if you’ve got this far through this warbling?
Well I was just thinking that I do a lot of talking to myself. I mean verbal chattering, so that anyone could hear me if they were close enough. It really does help to clear up things in my mind. I don’t have to bottle it up inside, I just talk out loud and it helps.
So the other night I was thinking about something and for some unknown reason I asked myself, “Who would I liked to have met?” From today or yesterday, male or female, nice person, bad person – didn’t matter. I came up with three names. Ready?
Most of you who follow my weekly gibberish will know that I love reading about Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). So he’s first on my list, not in any order, he’s just on the list. I admire his wacky, yet immensely intelligent writing. His command of language and creative, yet deep, pensive thought is impressive. He made me understand that if you want to be creative in almost anything, you have to get “in the groove” as I call it, then you will amaze yourself about what you can come up with. It could be writing songs or poetry. It could be a business challenge. It could be working through as complex personal matter. I’ll explain the “groove” in later epistles. A creative man.
Next on my list is Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) I truly believe this fellow was a saint of some order. Whether you held his beliefs about life in South Africa or not, no-one can deny that he held those beliefs through intense adversity, giving up over twenty six years of his life, yet when he was released from prison he carried few, if any grudges. He embraced all of his fellow citizens and tried to make life better for everyone. He went on to become President of the country. Some guy. A humble man.
I’m only going to name three people, so here goes for my last one.
Sitting Bull (c.1831-1890) was the Native American chief under whom the Sioux tribes united in their struggle for survival on the North American Great Plains. Following the discovery of gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1874, the Sioux came into increased conflict with U.S. authorities. Surprised with my choice?
There is no doubt that life in the West was horrible back then. Weather, fighting, lack of food, constantly moving location and so forth. The introduction of the “white man” into the world of the Indian, Native American if you prefer, was a monumental change of life for them. Yes, they fought furiously, and did terrible things, but their traditions had evolved over centuries and were well-established. They had a way of life that respected life, and elders and youngsters. They knew how to live a simple life, but it was based on their profound standards, history and culture. A wise man.
Ok, so I’m done rambling.
So let me close by asking you a question. “Do you talk to yourself?”
Oh and one more question, if you do talk to yourself, ask yourself, “Who would I most like to have met?”
Share it with us if you want to, but if you just want to chatter in solitude so be it. I really do understand.
See you next week.
By Bill Storie