Sunday, 4 December 2011

Thanks, Percy Shaw!

I work in Halifax, which is a pretty Northern town. The Town Hall was designed by Charles Barry who designed the Houses of Parliament, and boasts a very beautiful blue glass ceiling. Another of Halifax's famous sons in Percy Shaw. Not heard of him either?

Sometimes we drift through life, bumbling along, sort of half noticing people we pass, but not really taking much notice. Sometimes we feel as if life drifts past us, that we don't get noticed and the inner voice saying "what about me?" gets lost.

So who is Percy? Born in 1890 to a working family Percy was a road contractor, who, so one versionof the legend has it, was coming home down a difficult road in the dark when he saw the light from his car reflected back at him from a cat. Percy then went back to work, and to cut a long story short, invented the "cats-eye" we take for granted in teh middle of the road.

The cats eyes sit there, we take no notice of them most of the time, we drive over them, we notice the bump, but think nothing of it.

This is the clever bit: The glass cats eyes are mounted in a resilient rubber block, and when we dive over them this very action pushes the glass down, cleaning and keeping it shiny.

Do you feel like that? I know i have sometimes. I have felt that I have been ridden rough-shod over, ignored, but I am resilient and my inner voice still sounds out: "What about me"

Today's homework: Next time you are out in the dark look at the cats eyes, and how, despite all the bashing that take, they still shine out. Consider your inner voice, how quiet is it? Listen to it, what is it trying to say? Let it sound, and let yourself shine.

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