I love a good speech. Something that is profound, real and has a touch of wit but definitely doesn’t include the lyrics to the 90s R Kelly song I believe I can fly. That song was the theme to many school assemblies during exam time. The teachers meant well.
Speaking of inspirational speeches one of my favourite examples is Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. His advice is eternally relevant for those of us looking to realise our childhood dreams.
For the moments when I need a quick shot of Dutch courage there’s Rocky’s rousing words to his son. Remember kids, “Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
And for all those other in-between times there are the series of TED talks which cover nearly every topic under the sun in more than 100 languages lasting 18 minutes or less. We’ll get to more of this later.
So where was I? Ahh, yes, time to rant about this wonderful year where madness reigns less than gloriously. 2016 has been a fine opponent with some beautiful sucker punches straight to the gut. But for every bitter pill there is a sweet antidote and mine came in the form of a celebration of love. Love is the answer (along with cake).
In the middle of July I found myself at my best friend’s big fat Italian wedding. It was a spectacular affair with dancing, hot air balloons, theatre, delicious food, sparklers and friends from all corners of the world. My dear friend Valentina, the bride and her beloved groom Michele are, in my eyes, magicians. Not only did they plan the most amazing wedding but with the help of a crack team including Elena they also arranged a graduation for the groom’s brother Mattia (boyfriend of previously mentioned Elena). He was missing his real ceremony to attend this wedding of weddings.
It’s the wedding eve and day of the surprise graduation ceremony. I think I was distracted with a home-made cappuccino, as my buddy the bride asked me to write a speech in the afternoon to speak at the ceremony a couple of hours later. And to make it funny too. I said, “Yeah sure”, and then panicked on a social media status, as you do. Thankfully my friends had some helpful suggestions including using the lyrics of a heavy metal song. I love my friends! You guys rock’n’roll.
Anyway the speech turned out to be my moment to express my frustration with UK politics in a very thinly veiled manner. Here’s my TED talk moment where I was voted The Best International Student of the Year:
Thank you for awarding me Best International Student of the Year. It’s a great honour that kinda just happened – a bit like the nomination of the UK Prime Minister.
So, I believe in the university of life where we all either win or learn from challenges.
But to really overcome trying times it is always mutually beneficial to be friends with neighbours, as we trade, co-operate, tweet and hashtag #bubi2go.
It’s a connected world in which we live. We can often rush our existence. So, please let’s not forget to be both human kind and human beings.
And as I would like to get to the delicious food sooner I’ll end with a quote from the two best friend philosophers – Bill & Ted.
Always be excellent to each other & party on dudes.
And here’s a useful TED talk dealing with #Brexit.
I do believe it is important to remain friends with the neighbours. In my childhood, it was our neighbours, the elderly sisters, who provided my mum with comfort after she was mugged. They were there with a cup of tea and kindness. It was another neighbour, the young single mum, who helped me move my BBG (my nan) when she had slipped. My physical strength wasn’t enough that day. Being a lone outsider eating your sorry can of cold baked beans by candle light is never really going to be fun. I’d much rather be feasting with my European compatriots with merriment, cheese, olives and all the goodness of the continent.