Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world
Rite of Passage Four –First Love–
(1945 to 1949)
Ambition: Whose example did you want to follow? If it was a parent, then did you want to do better than they had done?
I made my transition from a child’s allowance to an earned income at the hotel that my parents managed. I worked at a task that needed to be done by someone and that someone had become me.
I scrubbed a public restroom and received both money and a needed dose of humility. I had no illusions about my future as a janitor; what I wanted to be was an Hotelier…like my father…but more so, much more so!
I had caught a glimpse of the then managing director of the Dorchester hotel, in London. I remember him as a tall, elegant man with courtly manners and impeccably dressed. Oh how I yearned to be just like him, even down to the pearl pin in his pale grey silk tie!
In the same way that many a child gets an idea for their future by observing a parent I was quite definite about my career path at fourteen years old. I was also determined to do better than my father.
He did a great job, they both did. Loved by staff and customers and the owners! Who could beat that for achievement…but it wasn’t the best and, for some unknown reason, I wanted to be that person, the person who wins!
So…what about now?
My father never had a driving passion to be the best. I think he understood that it was unlikely since the war had interrupted any truly successful career path. It was enough for him to do a small thing and do it well and he did just that.
I find myself, at this time in my life, asking what might have happened if I had wanted to be more like my father and content with whatever that might have meant rather than always trying to be…better?
I have been a ‘driven’ man almost all my life. I have tried so hard to be…the best. For my “fifteen minutes of fame” I may at least have appeared to be the most successful but at what a cost!
As you read on about my journey and my feelings at the time…you will begin to see this ‘driven-ness’. It was a mix of the fear of failing that had taken root during my early schooling and my willingness to beused in a business that values both proficiency and personality.
I spent my life in hot pursuit of both and, for a great many years, never knowing what it meant to be…at peace.
It’s a peace that I’ve known for the past decade and it’s growing stronger every day.
Ah! but the roses really do smell good!
They only nod their heads when you rush past them!
Take some time dear friends; you may achieve less but actually live more!
P.S This week I read Treena’s poem Can you hear the Spring?