I was at a conference yesterday in Salisbury, and no I didn’t meet any Russians but thanks for asking!
it was a conference about the NHS, if it was still a dream come true or is it becoming a nightmare.
The speaker was Anne Widdecombe, the former Home secretory and the Shadow health minister ,who left politics in 1998 and embraced the media.
Once the was a formidable politician. The next we saw her dancing on the t.v. show. and now she is a highly entertaining and successful public speaker and t.v. personality.
She talked about this transformation. She told us about her childhood ,and how she learnt at an early age to adapt to all kind of circumstances. AS her parents moved around the country due to her fathers job, she learnt at an early age that life was unpredictable ;things changed quickly ,and to survive and make the most of it you have to learn to adopt and change just as quickly. A very good lesson for life.
A bit like mine actually.
My fathers job meant he was transferred every two years or so from one part of India to another ,and it meant new location, new school ,friends and neighbours.
We travelled from the south of India ,where I was born, to the north of the country. I was an only child until the age of twelve ,when my sister was born. Parents were too busy socialising ,having and going to parties; to spend time with me , so most of my companionship came from friends , who were mostly the children of our servants , as there were often no neighbours, or school , and every couple of years you had to make sure ou made an effort to fit in and make friends.
A very useful skill, which has stood Anne Widdecombe in good stead and made my life easier too.
Perhaps that is the reason I have settled in and made friends and have never looked back ,once I came to the UK. could this be the reason I have not met racism? As I was not looking to compare or contrast if my way of life/religion /culture was superior to the indigenous people ? Nor was I waiting for others to come and meet me? Like my school days I learnt quickly that what was left behind was gone, I was in a new environment and it was up to me to move my life forward.
Anne Widdecombe talked about not looking back and lamenting about what has gone. She said once she left parliament , she has to tell herself that it was the end of her being an MP. She wasn’t going to sty in the opposition and “snipe from the edge”! She had nothing to loose ,she was going to do what she pleased . How refreshing!
Somethings are though not as easy to overcome, like bereavement ,or losing your partner after a long marriage ; The shock hits you like a tidal wave and you have a long journey ,struggling to swim back to anywhere near the place you were before.
Her talk yesterday made me ponder on so many things, made me realise that those of us who change abode/country or nationality ;should make the effort to make the change our selves and not expect others to pander to our needs, or to try and change the environment they have chosen to live in.
I might have done the former successfully ,but am struggling to cope with the latter.
But I keep trying.. and that is all you can do.