The misuse of the humble apostrophe is something that mildly annoys me. When I see a sign advertising ‘spa’s for sale’ or ‘cheap car’s’ (and I know it looks like I have used two apostrophes with only one letter between but it is all good) I would like to erase the errant apostrophe. Most of us have things that mildly annoy us. What’s yours?
And while I am at it, another thing that mildly annoys me is when I hear people who have experienced success explain that, ‘If you really want something you can have it, just don’t stop dreaming of what you want to achieve.’ And whilst I can accept that in some cases this is true and that without goals we will drift, there are so many other variables over which we have no control that can stop our dreams ever becoming a reality. A major injury, a debilitating illness, a significant change in circumstances, our physique, the actions and intent of others can all derail our dreams. The inherent talents and abilities we have help us arrive at where we want to go, but what happens if our dreams are greater than our abilities? Of the millions of people who have played tennis, there has only been one Roger Federer – does that mean that all the others have not dreamed strongly enough or not been prepared to sacrifice sufficiently to achieve their goal?
My main concern with the mantra of ‘dream it – achieve it’ is that it creates a dilemma when the desired result is not achieved and can potentially foster a sense of failure and disillusionment. How about this as an alternative:
- Do your best to respect and honour the gifts and abilities you have
- Practice kindness every day
- Accept failure as a learning experience
- Honour God
- Live with gratitude
- Engage with people who have much less than yourself
Senior School Chaplain