We all have choices in life, this way or that. There are no rules, not like the game of rugby, where even the referee has a say in direction.
Yes, in rubgy sometimes the choice is made for you by a member of the team; in life, your parents could be an influence, but in the end it’s down to you. Like being in a maze, once you have taken the left hand turn, it’s hard to get back to the junction; we have to keep going forward.
You hear the kids say, I want to be a fireman, I want to be shop keeper, or a sportsman or a singer. Often they have a role model , someone they look up to.
Last night I watched a Dolly Parton show on TV that was recorded some time ago, it was filmed at the O2 Arena in London, The Dome.
One story of the evening amused me. We all know that Dolly grew up in the country as one of twelve kids. But her story went like this: She was only a little girl and went into town with her Momma one day, and saw a woman walk by;
Beautiful, she was, with red painted lips and red painted nails, a tight short skirt and her blonde hair piled on top of her head. So I said to Momma: Ain’t she just the most beautiful thing, Momma? Ain’t she so pretty? Momma pulled on my hand and said: Don’t you go lookin’ at her now, she’s just trash! And right there and then I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.
(Dolly has a new song ‘Backwoods Barbie’, all about not judging the book by the cover, because, that is exactly how she still looks today, but definitely not who she is inside! She certainly stuck to her first role model, didn’t she!)
Who was your role model in life?
Someone very excited about giving her first home haircut to her boyfriend, wrote on face book the other day:
‘I want to have my very own barber’s shop!!’
Possibly that is what my brother thought as he sat on the plank in 1957 across the arms of the barber’s chair in Potchefstroom, South Africa. First real haircut? He must have been three then, but already a budding apprentice electrician; a great little man with a screwdriver. He found out that bees lived inside plug sockets and was not very happy about it, because they stung him!
He wanted to know how things worked on the other side; on the outside; on the inside; and the backside, maybe this is why he put his head through the uprights on the back of the dining room chair and got it stuck!
This was serious stuff; today they would have called the paramedics and fire brigade here in England. He was crying so much and wasn’t happy when Mommy tried to calm him down by saying, as a last resort ,that she would have to get Daddy home from work and he would ‘fix it’ with a saw.
I think the fear of the saw got his head out in the end.
Now this is my opinion entirely; but I have a few occupational maybes for my brother.
He was already a practising electrician. And who did we say was the role model at the age of three, ah yes, maybe the barber man.
He might have thought that day, when there was a quiet moment, after getting home from town, that he would try his hand at a new job. On the side veranda in Kolbe Street, Potchefstroom, he positioned one of the garden chairs, found a plank in the garden and put it across the arms of the chair then set out to find a victim.
Ah, his sister’s favourite toy, Teddy! He was really fluffy, being the long haired variety and could do with a haircut. Thank goodness my five year old sister rescued Teddy before he was unrecognizable and totally embarrassed by his nudity in front of the whole toy box community.
So if not a barber man? It could have been a racing driver; he had reached the pedals at around ten years old. I personally would discount mechanic and carpenter, he didn’t like getting his hands dirty. Not a ‘would be’ rugby player either, a contender for the South African team in the World Cup 2011, too physical. A chef, no, that’s dirty hands again; he was more artistically talented.
Very often one had little choice in the past. Occupation was influenced by the era you were born into. You can today be influenced by where we go, who we meet and generally by circumstance. Your upbringing plays a part, also how kind the crystal ball is. One must try to avoid being bullied in the wrong direction. Your life, like the rugby ball, can go either way. So, followers:
What was your dream job, and who was your role model?
I’ll go first, O.K? I suppose, I tended to lean towards the artistic side too, which often includes poetry, writing, designing, drawing and dancing. But, no, I had no perfect occupation in mind when I left school; my mind was always filled with men and marriage.
Now there’s a confession.
Cliff Richard says about his life, (even on stage), that at sixteen, his role model was Elvis Presley. He didn’t go far wrong either. His career took off and is still going. But very few people know who Cliff, the man really is. That’s on the inside and private.
Like Dolly Parton said last night, the outside physical look and first impressions are not always the true you. Someone quite close to me once commented about a piece I had written and published, saying,
‘If you wrote that, then I don’t know you.’
Sometimes you live with a partner and know them so well, that you don’t have to speak to be company; so well, that you often know what the other is thinking about at a glance. This is good.
But do we ever really know the person?
Do you need to, is my question?
Go on, all of you, just for a laugh, what did you want to be when you grew up? Or who was your role model?