Yesterday I woke up to the news that four women had rowed 9200 miles across the Pacific and arrived in Australia. The crews nine month voyage was a brutal endurance trial where the raging heat was strong enough to cook a pancake on the hull. Previously, I’d heard nothing about the Coxless Crew but since digging around more I discovered that one of the ladies is from Portsmouth. Kudos to the team and to Emma Mitchell who has put Portsmouth in the news again for slightly more positive reasons than of late.
Sadly, by the afternoon I read that another adventurer Henry Worsley had perished after suffering an infection trying to cross the Antarctic on his own and unaided. He was 72 days into his voyage when he suffered a terminal infection. My thoughts go out to his family but to be brutally honest I’d heard nothing of his adventure until he was already dead. I guess Tim Peake overshadowed things of late.
Despite this tragedy, time and time again I am stunned when I hear of some of the fantastic things that humans have achieved in their attempts to conquer the world; particularly when the risks of death are so high in so many cases. Our history as a race is littered with hundreds of Henry Worsley’s but, thankfully, many Emma Mitchell’s too. Their success and struggles are occasional beacons of hope in a world where the media is often dominated by anger and hate.
And you don’t even need to cross the world in order to inspire. A friend of mine shared a story that Greek Islanders, having done so much to aid refugees crossing the Mediterranean, could well be nominated for a Nobel peace prize. What a genuinely thoughtful gesture to recognise the humanity that struggles to exists behind the veil of fear that seems draped over us. These refugees are desperate people clutching to the hope of the kindness of strangers. The strangers that meet them are individuals from some of the most economically damaged countries in Europe. Images like the one below are powerful reminders that humans are capable of great deeds regardless of their situation, colour, beliefs or whatever perceived barrier is suggested.
We can inspire others with our actions and I hope that some of the stories here may inspire you in your next endeavour, no matter how big or small. I love seeing my friends go on their travels around the world. Some have even done aid work in other countries. So if you want to do something big or small I simply say go for it and push yourself to enjoy your life. You may just inspire others to do the same. As for me I’ll keep sharing the stories that I find; keep trying to remind people that the world is full of greatness despite many stories to the contrary. Because it is our humanity that will conquer the world. Our human nature is the thing that binds us all and through the actions of individuals great and small we will win against those who try to plunge us into darkness.
Rest in peace Henry.