I simply don’t believe the simplistic view, that government ministers and many of the tabloids promulgate, that the world is made up of shirkers and strivers. Indeed, we may all be hard working or less so, depending on circumstance. The environment in which we find ourselves and the ways in which we are treated can, themselves, pay a crucial role. Indeed, when I left an Army Apprentice School to join the Regular Army at 18, my report read “Daligan tends to take the easy way out unless the effort will bring speedy, personal reward”. Now anyone who has witnessed my 35 years in the voluntary might be hard pushed to recognise that particular description. I prefer to think that, if I am asked for help and trusted, I respond positively whereas, if I am not, I tend not to. That’s not to say that I don’t try, just that my response is of a different quality and order.
The fact that I have rescued at least three charities, that were in dire circumstances, from closure, would indicate that the latter approach has some validity in my case. The fact that I’ve won national commendations for this work would further indicate that others recognise that too. Also, when I look back from where I am now and what talents have been realised, I still find it difficult to see that it’s me that has done all this. Without blowing my own trumpet too much, the fact that I’ve now written three books, with three more planned, has delighted me. Indeed, one of those greatest delights was watching my grandson, Chris, and his girlfriend, reading my autobiography.
There have, for me, been a number of crucial elements in this journey. The first has been in getting myself sorted out and dismantling that template of my childhood. The second has been, what my wife describes as, “my amazing perseverance” and what I call, “just getting up in the morning and doing something” and the last has been letting other people in.
Now, contrary to that army report, I like to thinks that I’ve always been a trier. However, the environments in which I found myself weren’t ones that would enable me to realise and develop those talents. Also, I have to admit, that I like to plough my own furrow. Well, for me, all those parts of the jigsaw are now falling into place. Or, to put it more accurately, I am putting them into the right place to create my own, personal, picture. So that “trying” has a direction and a purpose and these can be a powerful combination. The bottom line, though, is that, above all else, you need to try. Oh and keep getting back up!