Bill Shankly Was Wrong!

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it is much more serious than that.”

When I was 20 years old I was pulled into a giant machine and almost swallowed alive. Luckily, I just lost an arm. At 30 acute mental illness suddenly kicked in. It wrecked my life for 14 years until I learned to respect the condition and consciously brought it under control. 

The COVID-19 virus pandemic is for many people the first time they have ever had to face the prospect of their own mortality. Dealing with the deaths of loved ones, friends, acquaintances and contemporaries is shocking enough but the uncertainty of our own death for whatever reason and whenever it will strike has always been something most people prefer never to contemplate. It is a sobering thought, and one which is new to the majority of the world’s population. 

The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate between age, seniority, gender, status, wealth, nationality or colour. Even the world’s richest economies will struggle to cope with its social and economic consequences. The unfair and unequal distribution chains of global economic interdependency have already broken down. 

As an advertising specialist I have long recognised and admitted the hypocrisy of my own profession. Does it really matter what logo is on your t-shirt or handbag or what training shoe you wear. Is it really that important how much your watch cost you – surely all that matters is that it tells the right time. We can all only eat one meal, drink one drink, and sit on one seat at one time! 

But what should we learn when this is over? The world cannot blindly continue as if nothing has changed. Our perspective must change. In this world of global telecommunications we need a global society and a safety net which prioritises the importance of all people and relegates material gain to history. There really is plenty to go round. 

Those of us who have looked death in the face are already conscious of our own mortality but at 62 I live each day with a smile on my face. The past is gone, we can’t predict the future, and if you think about it, there’s no time BUT the present. Let us seize the day. Whatever your religion or philosophy, or whether you worship a tree or simply just don’t know, please be kind, compassionate, and generous…our world has already changed.