Archive for October, 2009

Keep calm and carry on

October 4, 2009

There’s this cyclist I often see on my way to work in the morning. He sports a typical bike courier wardrobe: jeans, leather jacket, cycling shoes, no helmet. The bag straddled on his back reads: “Keep calm and carry on.” A mantra if ever there was one. Could be used to describe the courage and poise of a Ghandi, Mandela or King. I have since learned that the expression was coined by the British government and used in promotional materials, never used, at the beginning of World War Two. That too seems to be a fitting context. I am thinking of adopting it at moments of great stress: when my inner road rage takes hold of me, when grappling with incompetence in the workplace, when I let my child set off my short fuse. Keep calm and carry on. Richard is the calm one in the relationship. Would remain calm in the most distressing of situations. Not me. I am easily set off, like a lid on a kettle that’s boiling water. I blame my family, on my mother’s side. We’re all the same, an impatient and explosive bunch. Luckily we have other redeeming qualities. It’s not all bad. Keep calm and carry on.

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