Friday, October 17, 2008

Under the skin


A few weeks ago I heard a certain famous explorer give a talk (he shall remain nameless because what I am going to say is quite personal about him, but there are clearly a limited number of people I could be referring to). He gave a talk giving his tales of expeditions and tests of strength and endurance. Should I ever have had an ambition of being an explorer, they were knocked on the head that day because living in a tent unable to step outside for months on end and running the risk of constant frost bite etc is not my idea of fun.

Anyway, at the end of the talk the person I was sat next to asked him what he saw as his greatest achievement and he replied that it was that his marriage had endured (although his wife has now died). She then went up and spoke to him afterwards and he thanked her for asking that question and he talked to her about how he worried that his constant striving for more and more challenges and somehow contributed to his wife getting ill and dying. She replied that she suspected his wife knew that had he had to give up his expeditions he would always have lived a life that was dissatisfying and somehow would never have quite been who he wanted to be, so in reality she probably supported him in what he did because she wanted what was best for him. He thanked her for what she’d said and said he’d never thought of it like that and would think about that some more. I was just really struck by how we can look at people who are able to conquer the world and think that somehow they must be totally different to you and me, but they can have the same fears and anxieties and need the same reassurances as us. We are all vulnerable in our own ways, regardless of how we are seen by the world around us.

4 comments:

TOM FOOLERY said...

Random, sooooo very true. Unlike me you never talk bullocks Random Thanks for that. TFx

Random Reflections said...

TF - I might not be quite so coherent in real life. I can edit on here!

Kahless said...

Yes, essentially we are all the same 52 flavours of ice-cream, Just some of us have more scoops of some varieties than others!

Random Reflections said...

kahless - what a nice illustration and I do rather agree with that. My favourite flavour ice cream is raspberry ripple - I wonder if that is significant...