Whether we like it or not, we are influenced by the general atmosphere around us. For example, returning from 12 years in France, we discovered our driving is sloppier than normal British road behaviour and after a year here, we are back on track. And in this sought after village, surrounded by people with world-success, folks so rich they think nothing of enjoying four once-in-a-life-time holidays each year on top of countless "short" week or weekend trips abroad when ever they fancy, to say nothing of constant meals out or hotel nights in British cities to attend the theatre. The affect on us, who generally care little of money, is to feel hard-done-by.
So, this morning, to lift my mood, I surprised myself by making a list of my achievements as recognised by 'The World', something I’ve not done before. It had the desired effect. I now know I am OK, have not wasted my life, indeed, have done things for the greater good of the world.
1967 - During the regional trails for The Meixco Olympics (1968), I was winning until I decided to stop ruining my life by continual training and came third.
1971 - I meditate for months in the Himalayas with Dan Goleman and Ram Dass and attain great freedom.
1973 - I am asked to take over London's most innovative spiritual centre.
1980 - After my viva with Oxford's Exam Board, one of my interrogators follows me outside and furtively hands me photo-copies of the nine papers I wrote during the intense week of exams. He whispers, "We always shred them, but these deserve being preserved." And with a quick smile, this stranger slipped out of my life.
1989 - The Coconut Curriculum I wrote for an Indian Ocean atoll is praised by the international educational advisor employed to check my work.
1991 - My Environmental Education paper gains accolade throughout Britain’s Education Authorities and Environmental charities.
- in reaction, Devon and Avon Ed Auth. hire me as independent innovator, freelance writer and worker;
- I set up Env Ed conferences, drawing people from across Britain, write a chapter for Plymouth University’s admired Env Ed book, write articles for teachers;
- I sit on 2 influential Env and one Ed think tanks;
1992 - My ecological paper 'Tiger Tourism' presented to the European Parliament.
1994 - Tig. Tour., put into practice at Illingwesi Lodge on Lewa Conservancy in Kenya, wins the coveted BA Eco Tourism award and is now copied as the standard approach to Eco-Tourism (basically - giving locals total responsibility and profit).
1994 - My Devon Eco magazine for teachers is upheld as exemplary in England's Parliament.
1996 - An environmental essay I wrote wins a BBC international writing award.
2000 - My Story-Link series about environmental, cultural and geographical topics praised as a game-changer by The Times Ed Supplement.
2002 - BBC turn one of the S-L packs into a popular Schools Radio series, stories I wrote for the BBC are read out by world-famous actors.
Seeing these steps written down, I see I’ve at least tried to do something with my life. That I am unknown and that others gained respect and financial rewards from my ideas was due to my not being pushy. They were, they seemed to take it all. But perhaps that doesn't matter. At least the ideas are doing good.