16 November 2014

The Value of Heroes

Ed Hillary Photo: Mike Gill 
I've always believed in the importance of heroes; more so as I've aged and realised how much influence they can have on the young - and not so young. I've come to understand the enormous responsibility they have for influencing their later generations - for the better. Discipline, work ethic, self sacrifice, persistence, patience, humanity, humility, excellence, good parenting, forgiveness, generosity,  frugality and responsibility are all things to be learned from your parents (and their friends) and onwards by your heroes.

Mike White and Jim Wilson
Some of those I've met and admired have included Ed Hillary, Raymond Priestly (one of Scotts's Northern Party), Heinrich Harrer (North Face of the Eiger), Norman Hardie (Kanchenjunga), John Pascoe, Stan Conway (gave me my first pack!). Then there were some work colleagues, athletes and rugby players, teachers and work colleagues and then, of course, there are parents, spouses, offspring and friends and then those I've never met yet read of their exploits and qualities.  They've all been influential in my life. It seems a very wide selection of people - but everyone has some influencing features! I believe that Atilla the Hun claimed that all Huns were good Huns; even a bad Hun could be sacrificed as an example to the rest - thus making him a 'good' Hun by example. Sound familiar?
John Harrison

My father, among other things, taught me to always leave a mountain hut in better condition than when I arrived - even leaving a fire set for the next person.  One of my teachers suggested that I should always try to leave the world a better place for my having been here - in response to my diminishing faith. Good advice in an increasingly secular and faithless society. One person who impressed me mightily when I was young was John Harrison who died too young. John, whenever we talked, gave me sincerity and his undivided attention. Not much maybe but something positive.

Norman Hardie

My Parents