A recent Saturday night of TV watching was enlivened by a reasonably old, but for us, as yet unwatched film starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon – know what it was? Copies of the DVD can often be found at car boot sales or in charity shops, seems like you watch it once and then pass it on. The film was based on the 1995 Rugby World Cup – got it now? Based in South Africa? Okay, teasing over, the film was entitled ‘Invictus.’
The title of the film, and an essential element of the story, was the strength Nelson Mandela got from a Victorian poem of the same name. Written in 1875, by William Henley, it demonstrates Victorian stoicism—the "stiff upper lip" of self-discipline and fortitude in adversity, which popular culture rendered into a British character trait (Thank you Wikipedia!) The key take away for us was the writer’s determination to not just accept things as they were but to find his own, and ultimately successful, way through the problem he faced.
This idea of challenging what others say when we’re told ‘this is the way things are’ is exactly what we wanted to explore in this month’s article. As the pandemic rages around us, the question we keep asking ourselves is this – ‘Am I being consciously, or unconsciously, shaped by events?’ Or we could rephrase that question and ask, ‘What decisions are we making that reflect how we want this period of time in our lives to go, and what are we allowing the pandemic to dictate?’ A classic example is eating out. Are we eating out because we get great delight in doing so, because we want to support local cafes and restaurants, because we know those places we frequent are doing a great job with social distancing, or are we simply staying at home, not willing to even find out? Will you wake up one day and ask yourself, ‘when was the last time I went to…. And why did I stop?’ A real challenge for us is working out what we are not doing for eminently valid reasons, and what is being left undone because of fear. We can’t help thinking that perhaps it’s time to wisely and carefully make sure this portion of our allotted time on earth is being consciously and wisely used and not unconsciously lost – if that makes sense?
Hope Trust, along with many other local organisations and charities is working through recent changes to Covid-19 guidance. To find out exactly what we are doing, please either give us a call or check our website. As a Covid secure building, our ambition is to host as many opportunities for people to meet up as we can. We can’t make every event totally ‘safe’ but we can make every event as risk free as possible – and yes there is a difference! So, we will take your temperature on entry, we do have enough hand sanitiser to swim in, we will sit you 1m+ apart - but we will also offer a change of scene, good company, stimulating chat, great coffee - that someone else has made - plus a break from your own 4 walls and Bargain Hunt!