A sense of physical loss

David BowieWe’ve all lost someone we care about. It’s devastating. You feel as if there’s a big hole somewhere inside you.

Today came the frankly-unbelieveable news that David Bowie has died from cancer. In the hours that followed, I went through emotions that I’ve felt before.

I sat staring at my computer screen, unable to do anything of any merit. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. I got angry when I saw people talking about other, more trivial (in my view) things. Continue reading “A sense of physical loss”

Why talent isn’t enough

This week I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and also watched 20 Feet From Stardom, which in their own way both tell the same story.

That story is that, no matter how talented you are, there are so many other factors that will determine whether the level of your success.

20 Feet From Stardom is a wonderful documentary about backing singers – specifically those who have quite remarkable voices – but who never quite made it.
Continue reading “Why talent isn’t enough”

Why I’d like us to be able to show joy

I was making a cup of tea alone in the office kitchen the other day, singing to myself and doing a dadlike jig, when someone came in and I hurriedly called a halt to my fun.

It struck me afterwards, though, why I felt I had to stop. I’ve often seen kids dancing in the street while holding a parent’s hand and singing out loud is hardly a crime – you only have to watch the wonderful video of Respect on the Underground to see the joy it can bring.

What is a ‘cultural norm?’
Society places an awful lot of cultural ‘norms’ onto us that can be hard to break and expressing yourself in public is one of them.

The British reserve is well-known, but by contrast watch the reaction of Winesi whose sight was restored thanks to a cataract operation funded by Sightsavers.

It’s a lifechanging moment sure, but the spontaneous dancing is typical of many cultures in Africa that is often conspicuously absent in Western society. Continue reading “Why I’d like us to be able to show joy”