The radio sparked into life at 7am on Sunday. We’re awake early because Keira is off to take part in the annual UK Swimathon. She is hoping to swim around 100 lengths of the pool, and with Carole as her instructor and motivator, I think she’ll get there. Keira and Carole make me happy.
The story I woke up to on the radio was about the Independent on Sunday which has today published its 2013 Happy List. The list is compiled of ‘100 inspiring people who have selflessly enriched the lives of others in the past year’. My initial thought (pre-coffee and breakfast) was along the lines of ‘yeah….whatever’, but now I take the time to look at the list in detail, I feel differently.
I don’t know anyone on the list personally, although I have met and talked with Esther Sutton who made the list and runs the wonderful Green Dragon pub in Croydon. However if you flick through the list, and having done so I encourage you to do the same, only the most cold hearted cynic would fail to be moved and cheered by at least some of the people who made the cut.
I’m reminded a little of my Dad, a quiet type who just got on and did stuff for and with other people. It was only after his death that I realised how much of an impact he made in his immediate local area. I met many people at his funeral who referred to him as ‘Mister Selsdon’, a name he would have been extremely uncomfortable with – but it was meant kindly, and as a statement of his contribution to his locality.
So – if you have a few minutes, please scan the 2013 Happy List. You might spot someone on there you know, and I’m almost certain you will be reminded of people who reach out beyond their immediate family and friends to thread your community together. Most importantly it has reminded me that a few people can make a big difference, when they choose to.
Who makes you happy?
Update: Keira and Carole have just come home to tell me Keira completed her 100 length, 2,500 metre swim. As someone who swims like a brick – I’m impressed.