The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Beauty Of Selfless Help …
July 16, 2012, 6:17 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes I’m back.

No it wasn’t a holiday.

And neither will my trip to Mongolia tomorrow – so deal with it.

Before I start, the A[P]SOTW assignment will be up very soon, almost finished it – just need to finalise a couple of things.

OK, so as it’s Monday, what better way to start the week with a story about death.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard about a hospital who granted a terminally ill man his dying wish of seeing his loved one before he died.

That might not sound unusual until I point out that his loved one was his Shire Horse, Ben.

Thomas Thorpe – 74 – had been diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year.

He was a well known figure around Chesterfield, because he was a market stall holder, but on top of that, he was – along with his horse – the ‘unofficial’ greeters of visitors to the city.

Anyway, when Thomas realised the end was near, he enquired whether it would be possible to see his horse so he could say goodbye.

Rita Snowdon – Ward manager at Clay Cross hospital – negotiated with the relevant parties and amazingly made it happen – meaning there was a positive end to a very sad situation for Thomas, his family & his horse.

I think this is beautiful and fantastic.

Putting aside the fact the hospital found a way to make it happen – which is mighty impressive when you consider all the health, safety & economic red tape they have to live by – the real point is that they wanted to make it happen.

Everyone thinks they live busy lives.

We are constantly trying to balance all the things we have to do with all the things we want to do – which often means we view any additional requirement as an obstacle we’d rather avoid.

It’s bad enough when it’s something that relates to our lives, but when it’s for someone you don’t really know, it’s a mine field.

How sad is that?

I think it’s tragic.

The reality is that as busy as our lives are, they’re not that busy.

If you have time to go on Facebook, talk to your friends, write a blog – it’s not filled to bursting point is it.

And yet that is how we act and behave.

As if one more thing is simply impossible.

It seems we have forgotten what life is about.

It appears we have become a society based almost exclusively on selfishness.

Of course not everyone is like this – both my wife and my Mum are, if anything, too generous – but the fact I was genuinely moved by a story of generosity and compassion highlights how it is becoming part of the exception, rather than the rule.

It’s bad enough that companies act this way, but the fact society does is of even greater concern.

We are a better planet when we occasionally put ourselves second.

I don’t mean just for our family, friends and loved ones, but for individuals we might not know well or at all.

I love what Rita Snowden did for Thomas and his family.

By going out of her way, she has ensured there is a sense of peace in relation to Thomas’ passing.

But she’s done more than that …

She’s reminded us – as Barry Schwartz gave a great Ted Talk about – that simple acts of kindness go along way.

Affecting far more than just the recipient, but the family, community and – in this case – a person living in China.

I could end this post by saying this is an opportunity for brands.

I could end this post by highlighting that a brand could use their marketing money & drive good for more than just their shareholders.

I could end this post by suggesting that I believe this approach would actually encourage more people to favor their brand than their traditional approach.

But the sad thing is there’s very few brands who want to lead change, they just want to follow it [which makes a complete mockery out of planning & planners if you think about it] so if we want to encourage corporations to use their massive resources to help the wider community – not just their customers – we have to lead by example of which Rita Snowden is a great role model.


Great post to come back with Robert.

I am ashamed to admit when I first started reading it I thought it was a joke, but it’s a great story with a powerful message about the importance of empathy, compassion and action.

I could say they are the attributes that make a great planner but I wouldn’t be so crass. But they are, aren’t they.

Comment by Pete

You couldn’t help yourself could you.

Comment by DH

I know.

Comment by Pete

its not a fucking sign of a great fucking planner its a sign of a decent fucking human being. planners arent some special breed. actually they are, theyre an egotistical subhuman fuckwit. even campbell had the good grace to not say that shit pete. he was probably thinking it but for once his brain stopped him being a twat in public.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well I don’t deny that I regard those attributes in higher regard for a planner than curiosity … but as I wrote a while back, they are things that everyone has, not just planners [and it’s tragic when we try and claim otherwise] even though in the case of empathy, compassion and action – it’s open to debate whether that is something that lies in all of us.

Comment by Rob

All this from a man who wouldn’t get me a coffee when I asked him.

Comment by DH

Nice and bizarre story though.

Comment by DH

sellout. fair call but still a fucking sellout.

Comment by andy@cynic

I paid you a salary for 4 years, I think that was more than enough.

Comment by Rob

Talking of horses, you’ve not written about your best mates massive cock for a while. Is everything OK between you two?

Comment by Billy Whizz

Way to go Billy.

I can’t understand why you’re single and a social outcast.

Comment by DH

1 Because I’m fussy.
2 Are you kidding? I’m the original social network.
3 Since when did you become Mr Sensitive? Prick.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Points 1 & 2 might be questionable but 3 can’t be argued with.

Comment by DH

i can always rely on billy to make me look like a charming gentleman. thats pretty much the only reason i keep him around. that and to scare bonnie into never letting a man, any fucking man, talk to her let alone go out with her.

Comment by andy@cynic

Better get in quickly and say thank you before Andy arrives, great post, well said.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

its a nice story. i can be sensitive and new fucking age. im just not some twat that cries at baywatch like campbell did. probably.

Comment by andy@cynic

and hed cry at a storyline, not when the show got cancelled and he couldnt watch some great american pair of plastic tits swinging in slow motion across the screen on mainstream saturday evening television.

Comment by andy@cynic

That description should be on the Baywatch wikipedia page. Brilliant.

Comment by DH

And before Billy, obviously.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

Dont know what you mean.

Comment by Billy Whizz

he means youre an insensitive twat billy.

Comment by andy@cynic

Great story. Great points. Great post. More posts like this please.

Comment by George

this story warmed the cockles of your little heart didnt it. you love a good death with a happy ending story dont you. sick bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your talent in turning things around knows no bounds. It’s genuinely impressive. Evil, but impressive.

Comment by Rob

I am in full agreement with you George. A wonderful post.

Comment by Lee Hill

Agree Rob. Completely agree.

I might be also in for the A[P]SOTW assignment. Oh god, write a 10 page presentation or an 8 minute video presentation sounds harsh.

Comment by j

If that’s the guy I think it is, you couldn’t miss him if you went through the market. Great story from a sad situation.

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

my dying wish would be to get a conjugal visit from the entire miss fucking world contingent. if the nhs will sort that out for me, i might move back to fucking blighty.

Comment by andy@cynic

I love this post Robert. More than you would guess.

Comment by Bazza

I may be a cynic, but it seems this was a really good photo opportunity/ PR move. Is anything motivated by pure compassion anymore? Was it ever?

Comment by kamellia73

I hope not Kamellia or we’re all doomed.

Comment by Rob

Comments are closed.