Thought for the Day

No sooner do I blog about a giant of comedy dying than another giant, this time in the field of cosmology, follows him. The former, Ken Dodd, at the age of 90 and the latter, Stephen Hawking aged 76; both, it should be noted, still working in their chosen fields of endeavour. Given that these were things that they thoroughly enjoyed doing, perhaps that wasn’t surprising. Now you could argue that 76 isn’t that old by today’s standards, except for the fact that Stephen Hawking suffered from a type of motor neuron disease and was given just two years to live when he was diagnosed over 50 years ago.  So the least you could argue was that he’d defied the odds by some considerable margin. And my point is?

Well, you may have noticed that some of these blogs are a little like “Thought for the Day” on Radio 4. In this programme, the presenter introduces their talk with something topical before giving it its religious spin by saying something like, “So what would Jesus have done in those circumstances? ”  So here goes with, what I’ll call, my “Jesus moment”.

You see yesterday I had a speaking gig and among the things I mentioned was that, like Barack Obama and, I suspect, millions of others, I believe that the measure of a life shouldn’t be your wealth and how much you earn, rather it should be how much you contribute and help others. Judging from the reaction of the audience, I don’t think anyone present disagreed with me. That contribution I should add needs to be as much a physical as a financial one. One that is demonstrated by the individual’s social action.

Now here’s the link. You see I recently received a Facebook post which showed, what professional speakers know as, a TED talk; this one on the factors that contribute to a long life. Top of this list, it seems, is the strength of your social network; not, you will notice, how much you earn. It’s worth a look.


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