January 10, 2020

The Temptations of Being An Englishman

How does that Gilbert and Sullivan song go again?

”But, in spite of all temptations
to belong to other nations,
he remains an Englishman man.
He rema-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ains an Englishman.”

And, there you have it, you see.
In spite of the temptations of parents, sister and dearest friends (Florida), brother (Missouri)…
…and daughters (Australia)…

i remain firmly, heart and soul, an Englishman.
And more so with each cycle of seasons.

Perhaps we folk in this land are quirky, weird… even slightly bonkers to others on the planet.
Admittedly, generally less welcoming in the South than in the North.
With traditions that defy all logic.
And a cosmopolitan soup that boggles the mind.

But, I love it you see.

I wander its meadows and gentle hills.
I gaze over its valleys and moors.
It’s cragginess and its verdant pastures.
It’s rich woodlands.

Heart and soul. I do love it.
It’s home.

Except on a cloudy, grey, drizzly, gusty afternoon in January.
(The time described, apparently, by C.S. Lewis as “The Waiting Room of The World”)

Then we’re like little squirrels.
Hibernating behind our double-glazing and dark blue doors.

Popping our heads out in Spring.
And greeting our neighbours-of-decades as if they’ve just moved into the street.

Most of all, I miss the time digging around (“Like a Pig In Muck” according to my children) in my Bee and Butterfly Garden.
Particularly when rain is a constant blanket.
And cloying mud is the only element that seems to exist below the roiling skies.

I used to think that gardeners were the outdoor equivalent of technology nerds.
But Wendy’s encouragement to “Go, Save Our Bees” has taught me otherwise.
Now, experience has filled me with nature’s healing magic.

Wendy says that i’m a different person when i return from designing, weeding, planting, pruning and composting.
I bring a different spirit into the home.
Into our relationships.

I find the same when I take regular time each week to study spiritual and philosophical material… the wisdom of the ages.
I allow the perspective of eternity – certainly of multi-generations – to lengthen my vision and question my (so-called) intellect.

And I’m satisfied that ‘different thinking’ adds a fullness into my life… and therefore our lives.
What’s more, I take that healing difference into my work with clients.
So – they tell me – it influences them too.

It happened to me today.
I was able to ask questions and point to ideas that could never have come from a business book or academic research.

My belief is that we rob ourselves of depth, perspective and wisdom when we narrow our education to the field in which we work.
Or we narrow our social influence to our own professional community.

What I observe is a narrowing of ‘outlandish possibilities’ in those who do.

Yes, Business is about Life.
But Life is not about Business.
Well, certainly not that alone.

And we rob the world of a richness and creativity of thinking, if that’s what we spend all and every day thinking about.

In doing so, we fail to bless our business and its people with the seemingly irrelevant thinking…
…which can only come when our mind is not focused on business goals, projects and tasks.

So… think about it.

Or rather…

Think about – and deeply engage with – something which has absolutely nothing to do with your business at all!

Get a Life, for goodness sake!

This chaotic, aching, confused world could do with that influence.