Wednesday, 22 April 2009

I read the news today, oh boy....

I apologise for bringing a very melancholy note into this blog, but I've just had the shock of my life reading the news about the family that was killed in a car crash on the M1 motorway on Saturday. It turns out that I knew the 27-year-old man who was killed alongside his sister, mother and uncle: he was in my class at secondary school 10 years ago. You never imagine these things will actually happen to someone you know, or someone who you once knew quite well.

While I was never really friends with the bloke and therefore wasn't in contact with him - I last spoke to him when I bumped into him on a train in 2002 or 2003 - words can't express the shock and horror I felt when my brother rang me up to tell me he'd read it in one of the London newspapers yesterday evening. This is the sort of tragedy you never wish on anyone, let alone someone you once saw at school every day.

I suppose because of yesterday's blog post (about letting fear hold you back in life) I was in a philosophical mood anyway, but it reminded me just how fragile life is. It reminded me how time really is precious, and you can't waste it because you simply don't know how short your time on this earth will be. It also made me think of a quote from one of my favourite speeches: Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computers, said in his Stanford University commencement speech in 2005:
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
For those who want to see the full text of the speech (and it's a damn good speech, so I recommend it), click here, and for those who want to watch it see the bottom of this post.

Thanks for all your comments yesterday regarding fear and how to move past it. I think the news I've just talked about above pretty much follows on what I talked about yesterday, though obviously I wasn't originally planning on writing this post! Your thoughts and advice were all very much appreciated.

P.S. Happy Earth Day to all of you.
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  1. Difficult to know what to say - one of those occasions when words are inadequate. When I heard about that crash my first thought was what a pointless waste of life and how devastating it must be for the victim's friends and family. As you say, it puts other concerns into perspective.

    This next bit is going to sound very trivial -

    I just popped in here to tell you that I've read some of your earlier posts but didn't have time to comment properly on them. But, if you have a spare moment to visit my blog you'll find an award there for you (sorry, no money involved!)

  2. Thanking you for sharing this wonderful speech.

  3. Very well said. Sounds like you're on your way to living Jobs' advice.

  4. Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by. Are you suggesting a literal coffee shop or a virtual one here on blogger? If it exists, I know nothing of the latter. So sorry to leave my questions in your comment area. I'm delighted by your discovery of the blog. It is lovely to have you on board! I look forward to following your adventures as well.

  5. Great post my friend! Definitely helped me have some perspective on a day when I needed it. Thank you!

  6. What a wonderful, inspiring speech. Thank you for posting it.


  7. Oh my god! Thanks all of you for your messages! I really should check my blog more often.... although mind you I've only just rolled out of bed (I'm such a lazybones, I know) ;-)

    When I Am Rich:
    It's fine, I'm OK now, I guess I was just in such a state of shock yesterday that it was difficult for me to think of something else to post. Thank you so much for the award, I shall be popping along to your blog to collect it!

    Welcome! Man, I love getting new readers :-) I'm glad you liked the speech and thanks for being my new follower.

    The Prodigal Tourist:
    Thanks very much and of course, thanks for stopping by. And from one Londoner to another.... Happy St Georges' Day :-)

    Thanks to you too for being my new follower, and no worries about asking me questions in my comments box :-) It's a virtual coffee shop I was referring to, but of course feel free to go to an actual coffee shop if you want :-) I shall explain in further detail on your blog in a minute. Glad to help!

    I'm glad that I've helped and glad you liked it! Thanks for your comment :-)

    Squirrel Queen:
    Thanks for stopping by again. I'm glad you liked the speech as much as I did. Always willing to share :-)

  8. As all the others have said, a good speech, thanks for sharing; also your blogs provide an insightful read;

    how about on one of your 'afternoon tea breaks' (tea is for all times of the day, of course), you venture on to:


    hope you enjoy!

  9. I am so sorry to hear about the family that was killed and I can relate to your shock. A couple months ago my stepdad's brother was hit and killed by a car when he was walking in the road. It happened so suddenly. And you're right, you never think this will happen to someone you know.

    And a very inspiring post, by the way. I also wanted to thank you for joining my blog. I haven't had time to comment properly.

  10. Weird - I honestly thought I posted back a comment thanking both of you but it hasn't materialised, so I'll have to do it again - bummer :-(

    I completely agree that tea is for all times of the day :-) However, being unemployed for two months has turned me into a lazybones who doesn't get out of bed till midday, hence that my tea breaks are always in the afternoon :-) Obviously I hope that will change soon! I shall mosey along to your site in a mo, thanks for posting the link :-)

    Greenback Savvy:
    You are so right, it's a massive shock. I'm OK now though. I am so sorry to hear about your stepdad's brother, I hope you lot are OK yourselves. Glad you liked the post and hope you visit again to collect your award (see most recent post)!