May 14, 2020

With Trials Like This Comes New Powers!

They thought I had drowned.

Did I tell you about that?
Well, I’m telling you now.

They thought I had drowned.
Or, so they told me.

I was 7 years old.
Had only been in England for 3 years.
I guess I was at the tail end of the ‘Windrush’ era.

“Did you come over on a Banana Boat mate?”
The answer is “Yes, actually.”
(The liner was owned by Fyffes. Make of that what you will)

I’d never seen a swimming pool.
If i’d seen an expanse of water, it had been pounding upon a beach in Jamaica.
But a swimming pool?
What’s that?

So, the day arrived where we little children trooped in pairs to the local, bitterly cold, outdoor pool.
’The Splash’.
In London Colney. a tiny village in Hertfordshire.

I didn’t have any trunks (“What’s ‘trunks’?”)
So, guess what they made me wear?
Go on. Guess.

A girls frilly swim suit.
How can you do that to a 7 year old boy?!
Go on. Laugh.
Because they all did.

“Of course I know how to dive!”
(Mum had taken me to see Tarzan. So, of course I knew, didn’t I?)

The water was so cold, I felt as though I’d been punched.
With knives.

I remember the first two times I came to the surface.
There was a lot of noise from children who seemed to be having a wonderful time.

And I remember thinking…
”My Mummy is going to be so cross with me, if I don’t get out of here?
So, I wonder… how do I get out of here?”

But apparently, I didn’t do much at all.
I just froze.
For long enough that the teacher finally decided to dive in and fish me out.

They forgot about my girl’s swim suit.
And I became a celebrity for the next few days.

Someone said to me, the next day.
”If you’d just moved your legs and arms…
You probably would have been all right.”

That seemingly ignorant, ill-informed, passing comment spurred me on in many difficult moments in the decades that followed.
”If you just keep moving… you’ll have a chance to work out what to do next.”

That incident changed my young life.
I’d nearly died.
But I’d lived.

For the tiniest, tiniest while, I honestly believed that I was destined to do amazing things.
I didn’t have the words to describe it.
It was just a 7 year old’s feelings.

But life proceeded to knock those thoughts out of me.
And I forgot them.

Until recently.
Until someone asked me what I really wanted to do.

And the answer?
”I Want To Change The World Around Me.
I Want To Show Others How to Change Theirs!”

And I was asked again…
”If You Knew That You Had The Power to Change Your World…
What Would You Do Differently?
What Would You Do Today?”

And so I did.
I started doing it.

And this – this Thinking Bench – is part of creating that change.

It took me a while to pluck up the courage to get back into the water.

But when I did?
I loved it.
I felt like a child again.
But this time, an incredibly powerful one!

There are moments when we can be paralysed by what the world throws at us.
As I write, this is one of those moments in history.

We can freeze. We can stay as we are. And hope to be rescued.
Or we can determine to be powerful.
To change our world
Then help others to change theirs.

The Power to Change Lives
It’s what a Soul Millionaire strives to embrace.
So, jump in.
Honest. You’ll love it!