River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Food For Thought

December 2002

We enter the world as we leave, with nothing!

A letter in a village newsletter caught my eye recently. It was from a lady who wrote about her history and politics master when she was at school. She wrote about how he use to come into class 10 minutes late and, to use her own words, 'stinking of fags'. How jealous I became reading her letter. Never did I have a teacher like that. By the way, there was more to this teacher than what I have just said but I won't bother you with the details.

Reading this letter it took me back to my childhood and my schoolteachers and what a nondescript lot they were. I'm not surprised I couldn't wait to leave; and don't talk to me about school reunions. I can manage quite well without them. I've been to a couple and that's my lot. I don't want to see someone who I may well remember somewhat fondly only to discover when you see them again years later that they now look rather different to what they did then. Yes, I know they can say the same about me and that's why I don't want to look back over the past give me the future.

You always have this strange idea that people you haven't seen for years will look the same as they were. But life is a bit more cruel than that. I was reading in one of our national magazines where the writer was on about someone who he had heard died some 18 months ago and he considered that maybe he thought some people were immortal. This touched a nerve because it made me think of someone who I knew quite well who died five or six years ago and I still expect to run into him. After all, I'm still around and yet somehow I still expect him to be. If we could go back to schoolteachers of years ago, well it was the same with Vicars. How well I remember when I got married and the Vicar who married us. I don't know where Vicars go to train to become Vicars but this one I think must have had connections with the German S.S.; boy was he a delight! I happen to think years and years ago people who were Vicars just didn't preach about God they even thought they were God and so did some school teachers.

Today, thank goodness, there has been a levelling out and we are all about the same. No one better than anyone else. In spite of what I have just said you still meet some people who seem full of their own importance. I couldn't, if someone paid me, consider that I was better than other people. We are all different shapes and sizes; some have got more money than others, newer cars, bigger homes, and so on. But all of these things are not ours; they are things that are, if you wish, leased to us. Because one day, we shall leave all of that behind so that just as we came into this world with nothing so we shall leave with nothing. Material things mean nothing. What really matters is how we treat other people. How we go around helping other people; and it's surprising how much better it makes you feel when you do just that. We should do it more often.

Les Lawrence

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