On this day 23 May 2014…
I was making my way to give a talk in Washington D.C.
I stop to photograph a billboard in front of the building that is my destination. It reads, Make no little plans. This immediately strikes me as a good idea, but only after my talk, as I stroll onto the lawns of the Capitol Building, do I realise just why this is good advice.
When you make little plans, and they fail, you are left with nothing to show and feel like a total failure. When you make really grand plans, you aim far, shoot high, and push yourself hard. Then, if you don’t quite hit the target, you are still left with a pretty impressive plan, and you can consol yourself that the original plan was really terribly ambitious for one little person to attempt in the first place. So you walk away from ‘failure’ head held high and say; “Next time…just you wait.”
When you make a grand plan, and it doesn’t quite work out, you also have the satisfaction of taking stock of what you have achieved in trying to make it a reality.
I have already given around 70 talks, using my – One planet One people – project, to inspire people to build a future on the four pillars of humanity: Honour, Kindness, Tolerance, and Self-control. I have invitations to speak to 100 further service clubs across the US, and counting. I have managed to convince several neuroscientists and physicists to give me an hour of their time, and my – What If – project is gaining a momentum of its own. I am looking forward to engaging in dozens of mental jamming sessions with people from all walks of life.
My American adventure might not be quite as I envisaged, but is it going to be one hell of a ride away…in a convertible!
While road tripping thousands of miles in a convertible is probably not going to be the most comfortable option, it will definitely be ever so cool and make for a good movie. Sort of ‘Thelma and Louise’ without Thelma and Louise, and hopeful without the drive-off-the cliff ending. I think a good title for this future blockbuster would be Annette does America…lol
Now that I have panel-beaten my setbacks into a new adventure, I am ready to rock and roll. To do so I must find my way from the straitjacket political end of Washington D.C. into the heart of its music scene. On the way, I discover that my GPS does not work in three dimensions, and that the roads I want to be on are always either above or below me. Just as my brain attempts to go into a sulk, my mind sends the clear message, get a grip, the more you stress, the less you think, the less you think, the more you stress, the less…you get the idea.
Time to regroup, find parking, take a moment, reset the course, but the streets of Washington D.C. are as convoluted as its politics. It takes a couple of false starts, many unexpected one ways, a few surprising dips into the underground road system, and several missed roundabout exits, before I finally find my rocking cousin. You can find him too, by going here.
Meanwhile back in the present, in Cape Town by the seas. I have purposefully set aside my camera for the moment. This to allow me to consolidate the 10’s of 1000’s of images I have taken over the past 9 years. So I discover that on this day in 2009 I was visiting Munich.