What REALLY matters?

Take a moment to sit and think, I mean really think about what REALLY matters to you.


I’m happy to wait


So what are you prepared to really go out on a limb for? Your job? Your family? Your art? Your beliefs?

I’ve seen a couple of things recently that have made me ponder on this.

Firstly I went with Mrs F to see the Mandela A Long Road to Freedom film. I thought it really good. It shows Mr Mandela a bit warts and all, he wasn’t the best of husbands to his first wife for example. Towards the end of his imprisonment he ignored the pleas of his ANC comrades and engaged in direct discussions with government representatives as he believed it the way to bring about change.

However the thing I walked away from was the sacrifice the man made. He lost 27 years of his life through standing up for what he believed was right. I wonder if he really did expect to be sentanced to death back at the Rivonia Trial in 1962? Did he hope to become a martyr to encourage a greater uprising? However we all remember his stance for peace and forgiveness once he was released, even though this cost him another marriage. You can’t blame Winnie, she had been herself appallingly treated at the hands of the regime and she wanted to channel that hatred but Mandela himself seemed able somehow to stand aside from that. Remarkable man. But look at that cost to himself.

The Voice – yes, yes another Saturday evening talent exploitation discovery show. Well this year I’ve a little bit more interest in it.  I refer you to this little post on my other (old) blog in December 2011… Jamie auditioned last Saturday night and got through, deciding to go with Kylie as a mentor. See… I told you so. Now I wish Jamie all the success in the world, but from being a guy sharing a bill with yours truly at the Nags Head in Rochester to national TV audiences in the millions, that is a hell of a leap in a few short minutes. I should have taken notes of how far the likes on his facebook page or followers on Twitter rocketed after Saturday. He will now be, even if only briefly, a celebrity. He’ll not be able to rock up at a gig in his yellow mini and shake hands with the punters at the bar.  Already he’s been in the tabloid papers – what will his destiny be there?

Yes I’d love my music to provide me with an income so that could be what I do all day – problem is problems are I’m too old, I’m a crap self-publicist, I’m nowhere good enough… ad infinitum… but one thing… I actually like being anonymous. I like living in a large town/city because I can be who I want to be without anyone knowing me. If you live in a tiny village, the idyll of English life where everyone knows everyone – yes some advantages to that but where I currently live I can go about my business without anyone noticing me let alone actually caring about it. Would I really want to give that up for the music? I just don’t know.

I’m not comparing being a musician or a celebrity on a reality show to being Nelson Mandela, clearly, but there is still a sense in me of sacrifice for something you are willing to place over other things in your life.  Just made me wonder about what people would sacrifice?

There is one thing in my life that I’ve obviously sacrificed – alcohol.  I plan not to drink any today and hope to continue on that basis for sometime to come.  To many that sacrifice will seem banal, a “so what” moment.  True enough if alcohol doesn’t matter to you you’d probably think to yourself “If someone outlawed it today I wouldn’t be fussed frankly”.   However for me the reason that sacrifice was so great is that alcohol was my life, it was my comforter and life giver, my companion and lover,  as well as my tormentor and gaoler.  In the end for me the sacrifice of saying “no thanks”, “have you a soft drink?”, “Thanks for the invite but I’ll not come to the pub.” etc.  I feel is a good one for me but perversely I can just as easily identify with someone who is today looking at that conundrum and saying “You know what?  I’ll just take the booze option”.  Honestly despite all my desire to not drink and stay sober I can still easily see that the booze option has validity for an alcoholic and that will never change for me.  I have to make a commitment and a decision to stand by my sacrifice on a daily basis.

In other news… Daughter-of-Furtheron has passed her driving test… Yippeee…   oh on the other hand… be afraid, be very afraid 😉

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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8 Responses to Sacrifice

  1. C says:

    Great post, furtheron. A big subject: sacrifice! I know we all sacrifice things throughout our lives without even really thinking about it, just in getting on in our relationships, families, work etc. all means a degree of compromise, however subtle… but I don’t think I’d be very good at the big stuff like going to prison for my beliefs… not that I’ve ever been put in that situation though, so how do I know?!
    Like you, though, I’d certainly opt for anonymity over fame as I already mentioned in one of my posts. I couldn’t bear everyone poking their nose into my business – mind you, I do live in a village and it’s surprising how much people get to know about you without you realising. I went into our Post Office one day and there was a man in there whom I’d never met before, chatting to the woman who works there; he looked at me and said, “We’ve just been talking about you!”

  2. I’ll state the obvious and say Mandela was one-of-a-kind. In pondering what really matters to us and, by implication, what we are willing to sacrifice for, it would be an almost impossible human feat to hold ourselves up to the same standard that Mandela set for himself.

    Dedicating yourself to an art is admirable but chasing fame is fool’s gold. I enjoy my anonymity as well and would never want to surrender it.

    My brother failed his driving test the first time around because he HIT A CAT during the test drive.

  3. sherryd32148 says:

    Grateful to be on the other side of the pond for this one.

    And I must vehemently disagree…you ARE good enough.


  4. runningonsober says:

    What really matters and “The Voice” even … talk about weird synchronicity in our posts!
    Huge congrats to your daughter. I know she’s excited. Once the initial fear wears off, you’ll enjoy having someone run to the store for you.

  5. Suburbia says:

    Congrats to your daughter 🙂

    Thinking hard about what to sacrifice…

  6. I love this post. Very thought-provoking.

    Once upon a time, I was willing to give up a lot so I could drink. I’m glad I’ve realized it was a bad sacrifice. Now, I do miss the wine on occasion, but what I’ve gained by abstaining is of more value to me. I’ll never be one of those who can knock back just a few, then leave the drink alone for awhile, so today (and I homie for the rest of my days), I’ll willingly sacrifice drinking.

    I’m with you about the dame thing. Ugh. Who needs that sort of scrutiny?

    Nelson Mandela was an extraordinary person.

  7. daisyfae says:

    i’d like to think i’d be willing to give such tremendous sacrifice for just cause — but in reality, i suspect i would only be inclined to REALLY take it on if i thought it could possibly make a difference. it’s a good idea to make sure there’s someone to save before you throw yourself on a grenade…

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