Tony Benn (1925 – 2014) was a British politician who never quite reached the top but who had a long career, including spells as a cabinet minister. He retired from Parliament in 2001, as he said it, to devote more time to politics. He was an avid diarist throughout his life, and as a retiree embarked on a series of sell-out tours, just where he used to talk about his views on different subjects. Even for a veteran politician, his views resonated with a younger audience, winning a poll in a politics programme as their Political Hero in 2007 – not bad for someone who’d been retired for six years!

On the other side of the coin, he is not always remembered so fondly. While I remember the opposition politician who happened to be on the right side (i.e. same side as me!) of many issues, my friend (who is fifteen years older than me) remembers his time in power, and remembers him far less fondly. I have heard Benn’s politics credited for splitting the Labour Party literally into two (a breakaway group left Labour to form the SDP in 1981). But my memory is of an altogether more benign character. I’ve seen a several politicians become nicer people once they become ex-politicians 🙂.

I consider myself lucky to have met Tony, and have read most of his written work, even diaries which were first written before I was born. Whilst I don’t agree with all his views, he has certainly been a big influence on me. After his retirement, Benn spent a lot of time thinking about what his role should be, as he certainly didn’t plan on shrinking away into obscurity. And he concluded that the role of senior people in society was to encourage.

I think he was absolutely right, although I’d take it further because I think it’s true for all of us, any stage of life. We encourage each other – that’s how we get our strength.

A kind word here, a compliment there, I think it all goes some way to telling somebody that, whatever effort they just made, it is appreciated.

That’s all. It’s just something I try to live by.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

6 thoughts on “Encouragement”

  1. Reblogged this on Stroke Survivor and commented:

    Fandango posted the other day about how he just moved house, but he sounds like he’s getting back to normal and a short while ago he posted his Friday Flashback.

    I have always liked that idea, so shall also post my own. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining too.

    Actually I see today’s flashback as progress, although you probably won’t pick up on that. I started the blog mainly to chart my recovery, so many of the early posts are about my health. I then started getting back up to speed workwise, reskilling, looking for work, and I wrote a lot of stuff on that theme.

    Nowadays, my writing is more general, I am less focussed on my health, work just trundles on, and I have regained some, at least, of my former interests.

    I like to compare it to a football which has gone flat over time, where you pump air back into it, it gets more and more inflated to the point where it can be used once again. That’s the recovery process. Better, bit by bit.

    As for my post, you can judge it for yourselves. It is from a year ago, although I can’t remember what the motivation was, but as far as I’m concerned, every word is still good. I try to read as many posts as I can, and I try to remember to like pretty much everything I read, just to show my appreciation for the time and effort its author spent writing it. If that small token helps somebody realise that their work is being read and appreciated, then I have helped.


  2. I do exactly the same Pete. Though I am finding it harder and harder to keep up. I like to comment too, where I can, but don’t alwats manage it. It)s strange to look back isn’t it. My readership has almost entirely changed in one year. Weird. I am happy that new people have followed me but wonder where the others went lol. Like you, I have changed my blog a but from what it was, and do some things other than just poetry. It’s fun though, whatever! Happy day Pete. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean. Sometimes I used to look at French-language texts and, particularly if I was tired, my first thought was “can I be bothered to read/understand this”. Just because the whole comprehension process would take that much more effort. Sometimes now I look at an English-language article, whether it be a post or anything else, and I just see this wall of text. And I have to make that same decision.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. Same with me. Also I tend to like shorter poems for that reason plus I think you can convey a point or insight so much better simply. That is only my thought though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Me too, I try to comment on all posts but probably like everyone else, I’ve got hundreds of emails to go through every day. I love it, of course, but I’m finding it’s taking up all my time when right now I ought to be cooking lol.

    With patients, I went round to each patient and said good morning and always found something nice to say like Your hair, dress bag or whatever looks nice or if I couldn’t find anything (sometimes it happens lol) I’d just say good morning, nice to see you. I never asked how they were if I didn’t have time to listen to their answer.

    Liked by 1 person

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