It’s quite a neat, simple, catch-all statement isn’t it? But I must admit that I probably don’t take this quote in the way in which GreenDay meant it.
I’d like to class my self as a ‘Nice Guy’. I see this as a positive.
By Nice Guy, I don’t mean a wimp, wuss or pushover. I mean someone who is nice to others. Someone who is pleasant. Who may very well put the needs of others first, but because it’s the right thing to do in that situation, not because he’s a doormat.
If life is a competition, then I’m happy to finish last. I wouldn’t want to finish first while behaving like a twat. As I always say, the journey is more important than the destination anyway.
Nice guys may finish last. But they do finish. And they’ve probably helped someone out along the way, making their achievement all the greater in my eyes.
My all-time favourite hymn, in any language is Calon lân. I’d like to think that my attitude to life is summed up quite nicely in the first verse:
Nid wy’n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Aur y byd na’i berlau mân:
Gofyn wyf am galon hapus,
Calon onest, calon lân.
Here’s a literal translation into English:
I don’t ask for a luxurious life,
the world’s gold or its fine pearls,
I ask for a happy heart,
an honest heart, a pure heart.
Or, as I’ve only just found, a nice rhyming English version:
I’d not ask a life that’s easy,
Gold and pearls so little mean,
Rather seek a heart that’s joyful,
Heart that’s honest, heart that’s clean.
Which is also quite lovely.
To aim for material goals, money or fame your whole life seems to be missing the point of life itself somewhat. To aim to develop a pure, honest, happy heart and soul is a much worthier target. The closer you get, the more things you find beautiful anyway. It’s perfectly unattainable, of course, but that’s the key. You always get to aim higher than where you are now.
I think that’s my Magnum Opus (which is Latin for ‘Big Ice Cream’, presumably) – to make myself the best Me I can be.
This one was penned on the list for much later, but I heard it on the radio this morning just at the end of an interview with Fabrica Muamba. So it seemed right to include it this week.
This quote is pretty much the entire song. It’s from the Lion King, which is freaking awesome (and 20 years old next year. I know). It makes me think every time I hear it.
From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give
In the circle of life
It’s the wheel of fortune
It’s the leap of faith
It’s the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life
Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
We’re all just tiny pieces of a giant puzzle, trying to find out where we fit. Nobody ever gets to see the big picture until it’s close to the end. Whatever your role, try to never take more than you give.
I always wonder whether we prefer the Superhero, or their alter ego. Is Bruce Wayne cooler than Batman? Would we rather be Tony Stark or Iron Man? Is there something of Clark Kent to which we can all relate, as opposed to his Super powers, which none of us have?
Anyway, one line stuck with me when I watched the (new) Batman films:
Why do we fall, sir?
So that we might learn to pick ourselves up.
What matters is not why we fall, or fail, but how we respond to such things. Do we lie on the floor rolling around like Italian footballers, expecting the magic sponge treatment each time? Or do we get up, dust ourselves off and continue on our journey with even more enthusiasm than before, trying to learn and avoid the same potholes in the future?
How we fall sometimes isn’t up to us. How we react is.
I was thinking of writing some sort of ‘Letter to my Son’, being as I had one 11 weeks ago. Then I started jotting ideas down and realised that pretty much all of the memorable advice I’ve had has been lines in films, books and songs. Basically, due to my complete lack of original ideas, I scrapped it and decided to write posts based on these quotes instead. Maybe he’ll read this blog in the future anyway.
Not sure yet how many there’ll be. I might find enough for a year’s worth of weekly posts or, knowing me, I’ll start thinking that this is all a bit crap after the first three.
So, first up:
‘If you think you’ve won you never saw me change
The game that we have been playing‘ You Know My Name, Chris Cornell.
(There was always going to be some James Bond reference wasn’t there? I can’t guarantee that this will be the last)
You can only lose a game if you’re playing the same rules as everyone else. ‘Success’ to one man is a fancy suit, an even fancier car, and a big job making tons of money. Whilst to another it may be having no need for lots of money, but being able to grow his own vegetables and becoming as self-sufficient as he can.
How can you judge their relevant successes against one another?
You can’t be beaten by anyone if you’re not playing their game. Everyone’s game is different, let them play theirs, you play your own. It’s the only way to win.