Joining in with the Royal Wedding

Congratulations to Will and Kate, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on their marriage today!

We enjoyed joining in the festivities at The Bell in Lacock. The landlords' excellent hospitality included the marquee, t.v., and great bacon butties. There was much champagne in evidence too!

Persistence wins out!

Sometimes, when things are not going as well as we should like, we are wise to examine whether we should be doing something differently. However it may be persistence, not change, that is needed, as Calvin Coolidge noted.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) 30th President of the U.S.A.

Persist: to continue steadfastly or obstinately in spite of opposition or warning; to last, to endure.

From the Internet: Background on Coolidge and this quotation;
More impressive quotations from Coolidge – here and here.

(I find these links helpful, but take no responsibility for them.)

And to finish off, here's a related quote I also like by John Quincy Adams (1825-29) 6th President of the U.S.A. “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

Life isn't all about new information. I know, in my life and in my coaching work with business leaders, that at times what is needed is help in discerning what to persist with and what to stop doing – and encouragement to continue the journey. If you would find such support helpful, get in touch.

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Don’t label people groups as inferior, it opens the door to human rights abuses

I've just read* an interesting letter by Professor GS Solt to The Times (April 9 2011) commenting on the current exposé of the British conflict with the Mau Mau in Kenya in the 1950's. Drawing on his experiences of that and of the Nazis in Austria in the 1930's he declares that:

“When a govenment declares that a section of its subjects is inferior, and the law gives them inferior rights, the message soon becomes that they are not quite human. This is how some (apparently decent) people can knock off work at the concentration camp and go home for tea with a clear conscience. Even the British.”

He is generalising to draw what seems to me to be a valid conclusion about the way in which whole countries are able to move in the direction of genocide. It seems obvious, when thought about, that governments have an equal duty to all their subjects and should not be considering one group to be inferior. However there seem to be a lot of places in the world where particular groups are considered inferior for many reasons, including race, religion, upbringing, and intelligence. His writing makes me feel the edge of the precipice over which we can so easily fall.

* in The Week 16th April 2011.

Skye Singing Holiday April 2011

We’ve recently returned from an awesome week’s holiday on the Isle of Skye, made new friends, enjoyed some singing, and marvelled at amazing Scottish scenery on Skye and on the journey. Interesting detours included the Fallso of Falloch just north of Loch Lomond, and Glen Orchy with more stunning waterfalls!

Find my photos here:

The holiday was led by Candy Verney who runs singing holidays, choirs, and workshops including Singing in the Round which I am part of.

More great photos on Candy’s blog

Genetic mutations aren’t always bad.

Reading an obituary for actress Elizabeth Taylor I see that she attracted attention even as a child actress because of her unusually thick eyelashes: she had two rows of lashes on each eyelid due to a genetic mutation. The obituary also speaks of how she was admired for her un-airbrushed authenticity, in contrast with some modern 'stars'.