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One of the most beloved television programs in England was/is the show ‘Only Fools & Horses’.
While many people will talk about it in terms of the characters … the stories … the overall humour, I always thought one of the other reasons it was able to achieve such acclaim was their ability to introduce poignant moments withoutit ever feeling contrived, preachy or ‘shoved in’.
To go from laugh-out-loud to deeply emotional, back to laugh-out-loud is very difficult and it’s testimony to the writers skill and craft that they were able to do it so seamlessly, let alone so often.
OK, so we all know I’m a sentimental fool, but many of these poignant moments really made an impression on me.
Through their characters, the writers were able to convey a view on life or society that many felt but few spoke about.
I remember one scene where ‘Granddad’ talked about watching soldiers march off to World War I and how he was horrified at how the government treated them on their return.
While I can’t recall exactly what he said [I’ve looked for the clip on Youtube but can’t find it, so if anyone recognises this and knows where to watch it, please let me know] I do remember one line:
“They promised us homes fit for heroes, we got heroes fit for homes!”
Anyway the reason I say all this is because I recently heard a friend quote another line from the show.
While the context of the speech it is about marriage, the sentiment has much broader relevance.
“Marriages don’t come gift wrapped they come in kit form, you have to work at them”.
I love it …
It could be because I’m an old bastard, but I can’t help but feel society has lost it’s appreciation of knowledge, understanding and experience.
Maybe it’s because too many people think everything they need to know is available online, but so many people seem to want the title … the fame … and the cash from day 1.
OK, so that’s a massive generalisation, but the attitude of ‘working towards something’ just seems to be a dying attitude.
Sure, there’s a bunch of reasons for this – of which the demise of ‘job security’ is one – however I am meeting too many people who are self-proclaimed geniuses even though they have nothing to really back it up.
Seriously, sometimes I feel I’m meeting one of those people on ‘American Idol’ who acts like they’re a Rock God even though they are literally ‘killing music’ simply because their Mum said they had a beautiful voice.
And god forbid you call them on it.
I recently met a planner who said he blended ‘science with creativity’.
When I asked if he had studied science, he responded,
“No, and I don’t think that has any relevance to this discussion”.
Contrary to what you may think, this attitude is not because I’m 41 – nor is it because I am anti-youth – it’s just that I am concerned we are turning our collective backs, and respect, on those people who have a breadth of experience in favour of the individuals who only have the potential to earn a history of experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all ‘old’ people are brilliant – at least from a commercial creative perspective – but then neither are all ‘youth’ amazing – again, from a commercial creative perspective – but the fact is it shouldn’t be a case of choosing one over the other when blending experience with youth can often be the key to making amazing things happen.
What a shame it doesn’t happen as much as it should – or could – simply because too many companies value their people in terms of cost rather than value.
OK, so this is a ranty post that is all over the place and it has more holes in it than a piece of Edam cheese …
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the joy of life – both personal and professional – comes from working through situations and problems and it would be nice, especially in adland, if that attitude was viewed in a more favourable light, especially when some of the greatest creativity of the last few years has come about because the people behind it have lived a life of experience, not just a moment of fame.
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