Day 26,27 of My Life Choice Challenge
Before I leave Jersey I wanted to discuss the need for perspective in all our lives and how seeing our own situation from a different view point can often lead to a better vision and clearer thoughts.
Just such a situation happened to me last Saturday – I was invited by my mother – Lady Barker and President of the Ladies Variety in Jersey – to accompany her to the Jersey Variety Child of the Year Awards which honor outstanding youngsters.
There are two age groups – six to eleven, and eleven plus and three awards in each group – child of the carer, child of the community and child of courage. An overall winner is then selected for each age group.
Eight-year-old Oliver Favell, the cutest little boy with bags of personality was singled out for the work he does looking after his very disabled mother. It is the second time he has been nominated, and was overjoyed to scoop the top prize in his age group – what fun he had with the prize givers two Gladiators!
Patrick Flinders a teenager left with facial injuries after being mauled by a 250kg polar bear was left with fragments of the bear’s teeth lodged in his head and later needed 20 staples, he was on a school expedition to the Arctic at the time.
Patrick Flinders defended himself by lashing out at the animal as it rampaged through a camp of young British explorers trekking across the Norwegian island of Svalbard.
The 16-year-old’s friend was killed during the attack, while three others were seriously injured. Patrick said he is now glad to be back home and trying to settle down.
And the overall winner in the senior group went to Calvin Haycock, who despite having Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia himself, has worked tirelessly to help fellow sufferers. It was during his treatment, which is still ongoing that he became aware of Teenage Cancer Trust and the services they provide. Then when Calvin attended ‘Find Your Sense of Tumour’ in Nottingham, he said “it really opened my eyes to see so many other teenagers who had various cancers getting on with their lives. It made every day feel like normal just being with young people going through the same thing as me. It was really good being able to talk to them about girlfriends, fertility and all the stuff you don’t want to ask your mum about”.
This is an amazing young man who despite his illness has tirelessly put his efforts and energy into raising money for others and was a worth winner.
However all the children were winners, hard to comprehend stories of strength of character, brilliant attitude to life and a compelling passion for life and others through all their adversity. Enough to bring a tear to the eye of the most stoical of us.
As Calvin said “I’m not sure what I want to do in the future but I’m just glad I have a future.” This was the attitude shown by all and one I think all of us could learn from. We often take the wonderful things we have, our health, our choices and our abilities for granted.
We should not wait until we do not have something to appreciate what we do have.