A Brother’s Love

A Deadly Situation and a Brother’s Love

A brother's loveWho’d have thought I’d witness a brother’s love overcoming fear, and staying strong under threat from a top predator?

In the autumn/winter of 2012/13, I walked an old droving road every day in all weathers. The vegetation vanished and as the nights drew in and I could see more and more of the old walls. And, in one particular place, the wall had a sizeable hole …

Story’s end

‘You could see sunlight? Even though it was nearly dark and raining?’ A five-year-old grandson’s wide eyes gazed into mine.

‘That’s right, it’s another world.’ I said. ‘I looked through the hole and saw castles and dragons.’

‘Castles and dragons? How did you get away?’

‘… just jumped through and was back in an awfully dirty and cold night.’ His little face bulged with energy and imagination. Time to sink the hook. ‘See this tear in my jacket?’ I wiggled my finger through a hole, ‘It was made by a dragon’s claw.’ My nod affirmed reality.

‘Can we go and see it?’

‘Of course. We’ll go over the fields and on to the old road.’ A warm summer day made the idea an exciting one.

Dragon country

The boys dashed about in the way of children. They talked, laughed, argued, explored, ran hither and yon. I walked along, a human reference point and diplomat. Keeping in touch and refereeing the more extreme disputes.

Suddenly, we were at the hole in the wall, once again surrounded by vegetation. In a bound, elder brother, almost three years older, leapt through and disappeared. His younger sibling went close, and stopped. He turned to me, ‘is this the place?’ I nodded.

His face became troubled and his eyes moved, stirred, I suppose, by a conflict between fear and love. Love won out. Stiff with fear, he clambered through the hole and stood on the other side. Hands on his hips, eyes searching for deadly creatures, he yelled out, ‘Craig, come back, THERE’S DRAGONS!

I joined him on the other side of the wall. My entry wasn’t elegant. I hugged him and reassured him we were safe, because we weren’t in the land I’d seen on that far away winter night.

Moments later, we were back on the road. The scary part forgotten by the boys, but not by me.

True courage, a brother’s love

There’s are all kinds of bravery in the news every day. On that summer’s afternoon, I witnessed a brave-heart, as a child showed great courage as he faced the threat of dragons with his own brother’s-love.

by Mac Logan ©

Little Man Down … Death Stalks a Toddler

“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” – Erma Bombeck

http://www.andertoons.com 
Sometimes tragedy stares you in the face and you never forget it. Does history repeat itself? Here is a true story about one of my grandsons and the day serious injury, perhaps death reached out for him.
 

“I don’t know how his head will stand it!” My Mom sobbed, holding me tight to her bosom and rocking my little frame. I remember gripping the fabric of her blouse as I came around.   I’d fallen down the stone steps from the garden into the courtyard and bashed my head. Blood everywhere. Dad staunched the bleeding. Next stop the doctor’s and a later diagnosis of a comminuted fracture to the back of my head.   A year later, driving with Dad in his old Morris 8,  I saw a friend as we turned a corner in Arbroath, a small town on the north-east coast of Scotland. I opened the door and stepped out of the car to say hello; what price safety seats and child-proof locks? I crashed on to the road at about twenty miles an hour. Blackness. Next, I came to on a couch surrounded by anxious faces: Mom red-eyed with hanky in hand, Dad pale and sombre faced, the doctor close by holding my wrist; a policeman providing support. It’s a nice memory, strangely enough: unconditional love and sincere concern is wonderful when you’re its focus. 

Two generations on, danger sneaked on to the horizon and zeroed in on a little boy like a Cruise Missile.
 
Late on a Sunday morning, we arrived at the play area in a village on the north shore of the Forth west of the Forth Road and Rail Bridges. Mom and big brother were occupied on an energetic climbing frame about forty yards away laughing and making happy noises. The wee-man and me had been rushing around playing on swings, roundabouts and with rocking animals on springs. Laughter, energy and joy. We played tag, hide and seek, chases and boo! Our cheeks were red from the cold air; eyes bright. 
   After a while we arrived at a playing framework suitable for an agile two-and-a-half year old. At one end of an exciting pipe lay a pretend ship’s bridge and platform. Both attracted the little person’s interest.
   An intrepid adventurer entered the plastic pipe and a crusty navigator exited heading for the helm of a “super tanker”. Grandad stood by and for a moment admired the view towards a sparkling expanse of water. Trees rustled in a gusting breeze.
   The tiny blond-haired skipper gripped the wheel while his view-distracted protector, about six feet away, paid no attention. That’s when fate stepped in to risk the well-being of a young person; perhaps steal his life.
   At about four feet high, the platform was innocuous. The bridge of the boat was a floored metal frame with no sides, just a standing space. The wheel, at the left of the structure could rotate freely; within seconds danger leapt out. 
   I looked at the lad with a tad of absent-mindedness; saw him grab the wheel with his left hand. For some reason he didn’t use his right; maybe he held a stick or something.
   He leaned his weight on the helm. Neither of us expected it to move, but it did; all the way. He started to swing out and down over the end of the frame. All was silence as he tipped past the horizontal … and let go. A tiny squeal rang tore into my ear as I watched him try to recover. He fell.
   In an instant he was in the air, curly head pointing straight down, about six inches out over empty space. He didn’t even put his hands out to protect himself as gravity seized him and hurled his small body groundwards.
   In terrible slow motion I watched the fragile little head drop towards the bolted steel feet of the metal framework. Even now I see him passing the edge of the platform, head down like an olympic diver without extended arms. His chest passed the flooring as he fell, no sense of danger; a look of quizzical interest on his angelic face. His plunging body was beyond my reach. His little cranium accelerated towards a an almost certain connection with hard metal and untold damage…
   Thinking back, with my history of head injury as a toddler, this event is forever carved in my mind. Everything became blurred as the little man fell towards inevitable injury or worse.
   I can’t explain how it happened. My hand gripped a little ankle as I caught and held him inches from disaster. He shrieked with laughter as he swung up into a relieved hug. 
   “Again!”
   My thoughts were unrepeatable … again no !***!! way … as I clasped the little person to my chest, unscathed. As I write, I think of my Mom and the battered, bleeding, unconscious child she had to nurse as shock and terrible fear tore at her with cruel talons. If you’re a parent, maybe you’ll relate to this.
   
“Where’s Mom?” I said, placing a happy toddler foot-first on to the ground. He thought for a moment.

   “Momeeee,” He ran off up the playground. I smiled, waved my fist in the air with exuberant, relieved happiness and loped after him.

© Mac Logan
 

You can contact Mac here. Follow Mac on Twitter: @MacLogan_writes

Spanking Banking, a promise made

Spanking Banking … on the cusp of change

G’day, my name is Bruce, I’m the Mathematical Professor of Hydrodynamics at the University of Woolahmaloo. This is my Associate Professor, Charlie, he’s in charge of the sheep-dip.

 

There’s an angry public out there. Hardly surprising I suppose. The intention is brand spanking new banking but things are quiet. At least the term “Ethical Professionalism” was created — and with  it the promise of a new relationship with our Bankers. It also brought Bruce’s words, unbidden, to mind. The Emperor’s New Clothes wasn’t far behind.
 
This blog post and another tomorrow considers some of the realities and challenges facing the Banking and Finance Sectors as they take up their chosen gauntlet of becoming demonstrably ethical. In their own words: “fair, honest and trustworthy”. They want to win their way back into the hearts of the British public. The challenge is human. HR expertise will be part of the solution according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The will to change

Are you ever bemused by high concepts, espoused with a businesslike and evangelical zeal by powerful people? The Finance and Banking leaders are on the bandwagon. With a sense of déjà vu, I wonder how close their pinstripe clad buttocks are to a glowing governmental barbecue.

Good intent

“Ethical Professionalism” is intended to help avoid the possibility of another calamitous meltdown and to build credibility with the public, press and regulators. Work on this concept has been progressing behind the scenes. At the start of his term, the Lord Mayor of London put his weight behind an initiative called Trust and Values in the City; a conference was run in November 2011. There, former city grandee and Chair of Lazard International, Ken Costa spoke on the topic: Reconnecting the Financial and the Ethical; an expressive and apposite title. He has been replaced by Lord (Peter) Mandelson.

 

CIPD CEO, Peter Cheese stated, in the headline on the People Management website: “HR key to restoring trust in Banking.” This suggests how training, change and development skills, amongst others, are required. Lady Susan Rice advised the importance of “our behaviours, our mindset, our judgements;” and went on to state the need for “Ethical Professionalism” (my capitals) throughout; perhaps she coined the term. The CBI is offering a Code of Ethics and Professionalism in the Banking and Finance Industry; a serious endorsement from a major British Institution.

So far so good?

The term “Ethical Professionalism” made me smile. I recall how a significant majority of survey respondents not knowing what “Talent Management” was. Talent Management is much more mainstream now. Will the same thing happen to Ethical Professionalism?”
 
Can Ethical Professionalism move forward at pace; from a concept and policy to reality? It’s a great idea. 

Will the process of delivery be equal to the intent? 

Will it transform our relationship with, and our views on, the Banking and Finance sectors; to name but two categories? 

Might some other areas gain from a spot of soul-searching? Let’s not forget our politicians. You can find the second post on the banks at Naughty Banks… a very British solution.
© Mac Logan
You can contact Mac here. Follow Mac on Twitter: @MacLogan_writes

Man on the Run

“Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes.” Robert M. Hutchins


I can sprint as fast as Usain Bolt. 

At least it felt that way the other day when I had an opportunity to put my legs through their paces.

When I damaged my medial ligament, a few weeks before, I discovered a new source of pain. The healing was slow, hurting like a toothache-of-the-knee any time it had a spot of exercise.

Ready… Steady…

On the day of my sprint I arrived at the big Park-and-Ride at the north of the Forth Bridge and spotted the express bus to Edinburgh coming in close behind me. For the first time ever, I found a parking space within fifty yards of the terminal. With it came the opportunity to catch the transport and get back on schedule. Only one hassle, walking wasn’t an option? …

The Accelerative Man

What happened? A hardwired response. I found myself accelerating to a moderate, slightly lopsided lumber. The driver couldn’t see me for the terminal building. People, even older than me, rushed from a drop off space, blockers, hastening at maximum crawl; about a quarter of my velocity. The bus’s rear stuck out past the building. A gap appeared in the surging, breathless, herd of humanity. I hurtled through  and made the corner of the wall in time to see the doors close. 

Tip-toe Through the Ancients

An ancient woman, almost level with the front, gave up red-faced and puffing. I slalomed round her and caught the driver’s eye. He lowered his head, rolled his eyes and let me on. Another four or five aged sprinters, including the red-faced ancient, and the blockers, marshalled themselves behind me. The man at the wheel didn’t return my smile and cheerful greeting. Schedules are what they are, I suppose.

Daft Indeed

I found a seat. And what pops into my head? Dignity!

You must’ve looked pretty undignified as you ran for the bus. The voice sounded like HAL in  2001 a Space Odyssey.

Nobody pointed. The people behind me were relieved to see the door open. No one muttered “fool”. Did a couple really nod appreciation to me for getting the door opened?  Yes.

Like a Falling Tree

Bottom line? Nobody thought about my appearance of dignity but me. When it came to running for the bus even I forgot about it! Who said: “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, is there a sound?” (such profundity) If a (nearly) old fart runs for a bus and nobody laughs and points, is there any indignity?

Silly boy!
Mac Logan © 
 

Find out about Mac’s Writing 

Gentle Heart

Seumas wants to reblog this, so here’s the complete thing.

Gentle heart takes aim …

Gentle HeartSometimes an emotional experience is overwhelming, especially for a person with a gentle heart. Let me tell you what happened to me on Friday morning.

Point blank

One of my grandsons was playing in our lounge. He and his brother have guns that fire missiles with orange tips. He decided to blast our television from close range. The TV rocked and I spoke to him, as one does.

I sat beside him with a deep sigh and a grandfatherly frown. The weight of thoughtful wisdom compressed my creaking shoulders. What, I asked him, might I feel if he broke my television and I couldn’t watch it. I asked him to put himself in my shoes.

Thinking time

He sat back, his mental cogs whirring away. His lip trembled and he started to cry. My heart ached at his distress. Tears ran down his cheeks and his head hung. He’s a big kid with equally large sobs. I pulled him on to my lap and gave him a hug.

Man to man

Next I stood him in front of me. We faced each other eye to eye. My lightbulb came on. This young human being was crying for me, for the pain he imagined he could cause me, and in grief because he didn’t want to hurt me, ever.

Dry your eyes

I hugged him again, acknowledged his tears and told him how much I valued his love and concern … his gentle heart. His face lightened. We agreed it was never a good idea to shoot TVs, and shared delight that the TV survived without a mark. It wasn’t long before we were laughing and enjoying each others’ company as usual.

The gift

There was a gift in the situation for both of us:

  • For me? I’m filled with gratitude for a young person’s love and sincere intent not to harm me … even if, from time to time, he becomes a thoughtless human wrecking ball.
  • For him? I believe this grows empathy and a developing sense of being loved and respected, even when his behaviour deserves, and gets, a rebuke.

I don’t think he’ll be shooting TVs again any time soon.

More?

The last time I wrote about him was when he might have died.

Mac Logan ©

Bob the burglar (a story by Eero, who is 8 years old, and whose first language is Finnish)

Once upon a time there lived a bad burglar called Bob. Bob was an angry looking person. He looked a bit messy.

Also there lived a good person called Sam. Sam was a policeman and he was nice to people. 

On a rainy day Bob stole 1,754 sparkly jewels from the humongous bank. He also stole 12,367,459,876,890 dollars from the bank because he wanted to be rich. 

When morning arrived Sam had already woken up. He saw Bob with the stolen money. Bob was riding his motorbike. Sam quickly got his bike and started riding towards Bob. When Sam had caught Bob he arrested Bob and Sam put Bob into the black, big, dark jail.

© Eero

Eero sent me this story in April, it is on a wall in our kitchen. 

We met up again this week and talked about sharing it. He wanted to do that. His mum approved. 

If you have comments to share, I’ll pass them on.