Lives well lived
A good friend posted the image of Charlie talking to Snoopy on her Facebook feed this morning. It seemed apt given the funeral of HRH Prince Philip today and the sad passing of the actress Helen McCrory yesterday. They were born almost 50 years apart. Despite being from different generations and very different lifestyles Prince Philip and Helen McCrory, in my opinion, both epitomize the intention behind Charles Schultz (1921 - 2000) message, to embrace what we have, live everyday.
I had the privilege of meeting HRH briefly during filming Highway at St. George's Chapel Windsor. I can testify and add my voice to the several thousand others that despite the formality of those around him, instructing us crew not to speak, Prince Philip was full of wit and banter to each of us. Yes, on numerous public occasions he made significant bloomers but on the whole I would like to suggest he contributed more to the world than he took. This is an extract of the choir and the voice of the wonderful Sir Harry from that programme filmed in 1990. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH7cMO2PEvU.
During the pandemic, keeping her cancer quiet from the public, the actress Helen McCrory and her husband Damian Lewis raised over £1m to support NHS staff access food. An amazing example of doing something for the good of others and not for self glorification. Helen was an outstanding actress and our screens and theatres have lost the opportunity to see someone at the height of her craft deliver even more performances. That she died at a time of darkness in theatres throughout the UK, due to the pandemic gives even more irony to the timing of her all too soon death.
The cartoon also reminded me that for a brief time, during my late thirties, I had embraced a rather evangelical theology. A theology that promotes the promise of an afterlife. As I reflect back on that time, I realise how that message robbed me of living in the here and now. To embrace each day for whatever comes and to do the best that I can, in whatever circumstances, and help others along the way. Not because if I do that I will be "saved" whatever that means, but because to be human, to be compassionate, to be loving and giving is the very least I should be. That the gift of doing one's best every day is more precious than being seen to be a good person.
I think both Prince Philip and Helen McCrory are shining examples of that act of service, living every day, they have both passed on, and left more behind than they took.