Be yourself and celebrate your gifts
Adrian Bell, Rector of Fakenham Parish Church, writes about the importance of having the space to be yourself which and develop the gifts God has given us.
This week along with half of the nation I went to see the award winning film ‘King’s Speech’. With Colin Firth playing the Bertie, HRH the Prince of York, this British made film is superb. Nominated for lots of BAFTA awards, and with a possible Oscar nomination, it is worth seeing.
At the heart of the film is the sadness of stammering, and the way one can overcome difficulties with help. Being left-handed, as was Prince Albert (who became King George VI), my parents had the sense to allow me to write left-handed, and give me lots of confidence to succeed in life.
Prince Bertie sadly was mocked as a child by his father, kept at a distance by his rather cold mother, badly treated by nurses, and this left him with a stammer.
I learnt from the film that children are not born with a stammer, it is something that actually occurs as children grow up.
In the film the love of Princess Elizabeth and Margaret as well as the Queen Mother for Bertie was so obvious, and one could soon realise that Bertie helped the Royal Family in its gradual transition into the modern age. No wonder that our present Queen looks at the date of her Accession on February 6th with sadness, because it was the day she lost her dear beloved father. She came from a very loving family and was devoted to her father and mother. Sorry, yes I am a royalist...........I prefer the Queen as head of state. She had done an excellent job.
With the preparation for the Royal wedding in April one can only hope that Prince William and Kate Middleton will create a Royal family which continues this tradition of transition, enabling any children born to live as normal lives as possible, surrounded by love. With the new blood of Princess Diana, and the new blood of the soon to be Princess Katherine, one can only delight in the prospect of members of the Royal Family who are aware of, and understand, ordinary people.
With my youngest son getting married this year, I hope that we have done all we can to help him be himself and glory in his many gifts and come to terms with his inadequacies. My childhood was a mixed bag in many ways but it has made me realise that children who struggle with everything from holding a pen, to tying up shoe laces, or even holding a pair of scissors because they are left handed should not be laughed at. Thankfully after many years of struggling to write a cheque, HSBC Bank had introduced cheques books for left-handed people (I am not joking!). The best invention for many years. Try writing a cheque with the other hand?
So if you are, don’t worry if you are one in ten people who are left handed.
In his book Right-Hand, Left-Hand, Chris McManus of University College London argues that the proportion of left-handers is increasing and left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers.
So think of sportsman, Brian Lara, musician Paul McCartney, politician Barrack Abama, musician Chopin, and artist, Picasso – they were all left handed including our present Prime Minister- David Cameron. Many left-handers are also ambidextrous - as I am.
God created us the way we are. Sorry parents please if you have left handed children be thankful. They will probably not become a King, but they will be happy to be left to be themselves.
Pictured above: Adrian Bell