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One day at a time – a blog by Philip King

13 March 2014

It’s very rare that I sit down to write my weekly blog without having a good idea what I want to say but this week has been one of those occasions. Normally, I hear or read something that triggers a train of thought, but not so this week.

I’ve been watching politics (with both a large and small P) in action with a degree of incredulity, I’ve participated in an excellent and productive debate at the ICM’s Advisory Council meeting, and I’m facing some difficult times in my personal life with my 90 year old Mum becomingly increasingly frail, and the prospect of taking one of our dogs to the vets to be put to sleep at the end of the week. But I’ve also been talking to people whose circumstances make mine pale into insignificance, and earlier in the week we heard of the sudden and untimely death of Bob Crow who I’d been listening to on the radio just the evening before.

All of these things are a reminder that life is a tapestry that is both precious and impossible to foretell, and I’m reminded of some words I saw recently saying: “What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it”. The author is apparently unknown but the words stand as an insightful reminder to use our time to best effect. I freely admit to being a workaholic who finds it difficult to ‘switch off’, I know that my work/life balance is woefully ‘unbalanced’, and I believe that this is largely down to personality traits that make me who I am. There are other bad traits too but this is neither the time nor place to explore them!

When people play politics, whether in their local environment or on the grander party political stage, it always seems counter-productive to me as the underlying agendas are revealed and undermine what could often be a relatively strong position. Transparency is one of the current buzz-words and without a doubt we need more of it across all walks of life. On the party politics front, I often wonder how much more could be achieved if more energy was put into finding genuine solutions and improvements through collaboration, and less into seeking opportunities to denigrate and disparage others. The current Ukraine crisis and its impact across the international arena is a real-time example.

It’s OK to blame our DNA for who we are, and cite it as the source of our personality traits, but that’s not a reason to stop working to improve our approach to life and our use of time. I’m off to do my best to make sure that what I do today represents good value for the day of my life I’m exchanging it for, and the same goes for tomorrow and the day after……

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