TWO WEEKS ago the Montrose Review published an account I had written on attending the 1948 Olympic Games.
I presented myself in Scout uniform for duty at Wembley Stadium on the Bank Holiday Monday, without being on the list of stewards.
The point of my article was that there was not the paranoia about security which exists today. The account was printed as written, but the added headline was “Peter remembers the 1948 Olympics - Brass neck saw him through to witness gold medals.”
Brass neck – me?
In my defence I would point out that, because so many men had been called up, I had been stewarding with other scouts at the Stadium for the previous four years, on at least a dozen occasions, mainly football matches. We were not on the turnstiles, we showed people to their seats and answered their queries. I was quite experienced at the job. Our reward was to sit on the steps and watch the games free.
However I am not necessarily the best judge in this case. What was it the Bard wrote?
“O wad some Power the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion.”
Most of us do of course judge others more harshly than we judge ourselves – it’s part of our human nature, and possibly of the need for self-esteem. Communities are also judged by their impact on others, whether they be football supporters or church goers.
Writing this Thought for the Week identifies me as a professing Christian, one who should be trying to love my neighbour as much as seeking to love the God that made me.
Perhaps we all require a bit of brass neck even to attempt such a daunting task. In these circumstances, it might help if I sign off showing a degree of respect to “ithers.”
I remain, as always, your humble servant.
Peter J Stevens
Montrose Churches Together