Last night I attended the local Open Mic evening. These evenings have a non-compulsory theme and last nights was; 'when I met someone famous'.
It struck me that, as an expatriate and an Army Officer, I had met a wide variety of 'famous' people, but I had also met many 'people of great value'. In my mind it is the latter group which is more worthy of acclaim. Whilst many famous people do a lot of good in the world it is ordinary people who are often best placed to add extraordinary value.
The following poem is dedicated to the millions of people of great value around the world.
While we're all name dropping I'll have a go,
Queen Elizabeth, King Hussein,
Princes; Charles, Andrew and Pavlos of Greece.
Princesses; Aisha of Jordan, Diana and Anne
Politicians so many, I’ll name but a few;
Maggie, John Major, Ian Paisley - that’ll do.
From TV Kate Adie, John Simpson and Martin Bell
I interviewed Kenny Everett, Dame Jackson and Lord Weatherill.
Then there were sports folk, like Daley and Tessa
and dukes and duchesses, and one contessa
A slack hand full of generals, De La Billiere, Rose, Jackson
Church leaders I’ve met just two;
Robert Runcie and Desmond Tutu.
I’ve hosted bands like ‘The Sweet’,
and met Victor Meldrew.
I could go on but when all’s said and done
they're all just people like you and me.
Some fun to be with, others, just glum.
but the person I remember most,
wore mud streaks on a face like a ghost,
at six she'd lost her parents to a boy with a gun
and roamed dangerous streets alone.
We all have our heroes, the great and the wise
but A list or B list I’ve come to despise,
For when you’re out on your ear
and your folks have been shot
fame does not matter one single jot.
It’s how you treat others, that sets you apart,
true heroes fill the cracks in society
unsung, just getting on
and no one’s as important as;
a child’s dad or mum.
John Carré Buchanan
20 October 2014