Libya, New Zealand and sadness closer to home

First published on 25 Feb 2011 -

There are times when the news of the day is just so compelling that you want to keep up with developments hourly or even in real time.

This week, this has been the case for two very different stories. The bravery of the people of Libya and the tragedy of the earthquake in Christchurch.

For me, the time of the week I normally allocate to writing this post, was spent at the funeral of a 31 year old cousin who worked in PR and died of cancer last week.

I am proud and grateful to say that her agency’s treatment of her went way beyond the call and was wonderfully caring and humane

Hers was a moving, thought-provoking funeral. What had she done to deserve the cards she was dealt? Why her?

So, I am sorry. All I can do is re-print this poem that one of her best friend’s read at the service.

If you are gainfully employed in rewarding work surrounded by others who are fit and healthy, you may just like to stop for a moment and realise how lucky you are.

You may also like to admire a piece of writing where the analogy of death to a ship disappearing over the horizon is wonderfully crafted and brilliantly expressed:

I am standing by the seashore. 

A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength,and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other. 

Then someone at my side says, ‘There she goes! 

Gone where?

Gone from my sight – that is all. 

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the places of destination.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. 

And just at the moment when someone at my side says, ‘There she goes! ‘ , there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout :

‘Here she comes!’

Why is life so unfair?

About Hugh Salmon

Business leader. Adman. Writer.
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