26th May 2013

From the Dragon’s Den

During our Little Dragons’ session last week I observed one young gentleman who has previously moved around the floor rapidly on all fours with a kind of diagonal pincer-like moment, strangely reminiscent of a magical creature.  Suddenly, he has reached the dizzy heights of managing to stand on two feet followed by a lurch forwards in a highly technical way, worthy of an Olympic gymnast.   What a huge leap it is to gain the upright position and walk for the first time.
I was reminded of a certain Val Doonican, he of the brightly coloured cardigans. If you were around in the ‘sixties’ you may recall him and his rocking chair.  In his repertoire was a song entitled  ‘Walk Tall!’

Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye.
That’s what my mother told me when I was about knee high.
She said son, be a proud man and hold your head up high.
Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye.

I wonder when it is in life that we, after managing to walk tall for many, many years – as a child seeking new ventures; as a teenager blessed with total knowledge of all that life has in store; as a proud new parent pushing the future of the world in the pram for the first time; through good times, less good times, through thick and thin; that we gain the realisation that we seem  to have become less tall and that a bit of a struggle may ensue in order to keep oneself totally erect.  At this point, we may also realise the value of a strong, stable supermarket trolley.

In a book that I read recently one paragraph burned itself onto my mind.  The main character had learned through various travails and experiences that it was the smallness of people that filled him with wonder and tenderness; that the world is made up of people simply putting one foot in front of the other. He learned that everyone is the same, yet unique.

So, wherever we happen to be on life’s journey – just finding our feet in the real sense, finding our feet in the wider world, or simply finding out each morning whether our feet are still working at the brain’s command – we should be aware of and be glad of our uniqueness – continue to look the world right in the eye ……… and know that each one of us is special.

Val Butterworth


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