Lacking In Ambition

My father went to the kind of school where they developed character, encouraged creativity and generally turned out half way decent people. Passing exams and going onto higher education was not a high priority. As a consequence I had a pleasingly unambitious father who could turn his hand to most things but would not be said to have had a ‘career’ in the usual sense. I could say the same about myself.

Here is some of his creative work which I recently sent to my American relative to be passed down the generations as a link with their roots in England.

Lino Cut by Tony White
Lino Cut by Tony White
By Tony White aged aprox. 9 years.
By Tony White aged aprox. 9 years.

In the 1960’s it was probably easier, more sociably acceptable, to drop out of higher education and then follow a career path than it is now. The best youngsters seem to be able to do currently is cram in as much adventure into their gap year before going on to university.

And I’m in the thick of preparing to travel on Saturday. Adventure? I’m not so sure about that however there will be tales to tell. But before signing off I will link to a Guardian article about a man who inspired me at my final school speech day. Freddy Spencer Chapman, an SAS officer who some say is the most unsung hero of the war in East Asia. I was impressionable, he said those of us who hadn’t received prizes or who did not have exam passes could get on in the world and be a success. I took heart at the time. Sometimes a word or two can change the direction and outlook of a whole life. My fathers unambitious presence was a passive influence and Spencer Chapman’s words that day inspired confidence. He was an army man and man of his time. My dad was a private in the army, a conscript. All of his life he remained a man outside of his time. He would have been 94 come August 20th.

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5 thoughts on “Lacking In Ambition”

  1. This post is for those relatives in the future who might want to catch a flavour of Tony White, and of his daughter too.

  2. Rev Master Mugo i am so pleased you are where you are, your determination is a real inspiration to all! i remember Robert the Bruce’s story in the cave with the spider which kept trying to spin a web, the saying was ‘if at first you don’t succeed then try try again.’ For me Zen is about this you just try , try and in the end you will ‘succeed’ though there is nothing to gain and no plan to follow even though you need to ‘follow a paln’ to some extent, it’s really weird it has folk jumping between relative and conventional reality as ‘you need both’ and also you don’t!

    1. Oh thanks so much for this vote of support. Sitting here in Heathrow waiting for my flight to Vancouver I’ve been watching that spider! I spiral around to the need to gather support (Dana) and at the same time put in more time and contemplation to writing for Jade. Were you just at Throssel?

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