Oscar! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
“Has the Blade Runner fallen in front of the world?”
I am so struggling with the news about Oscar Pistorius being arrested and suspected of shooting his girlfriend after an argument. Yesterday I was sat there with my wife as we enjoyed a few quiet moments before work and the news told us of these tragic events unfolding as I held my tea with a sudden drop of my jaw. Normally these few minutes are just for my Angel and I to enjoy, after the chaos and whirlwind of my teenage daughter getting ready for school. She has the ability to fit into one hour (between 7am and 8am) the following:
- A cup of tea – rarely gets drunk
- Breakfast – rarely gets eaten
- Occupying the bathroom – which looks like a tornado hit it post daughter
- Total occupation of the huge lounge mirror – which she splashes, powders and flicks make-up all over in her need to transform herself, not that she needs make-up as she is beautiful regardless of war paint
She spends more time doing her hair and make-up than anyone I know, but I suspect Fathers of Daughters will appreciate what I am saying. I worked it out once that she spends at least 45 minutes a day (MINIMUM!!!!) sorting her head and face out. This equates to 1,314,000 minutes over her 80 year life span (I hope), which is 21,900 hours, which is 913 days, which is 2 and ½ years on hair and make-up (and I am being so generous with just putting it as 45 minutes a day, I suspect it is so so much more each day with touch ups and all). But I digress for a moment as this morning ritual as described above does not include the dreaded moods:
- The annoyance at the world that one hair is out of place
- The temper as she cannot find stuff but it is always someone else’s fault
- The oh so very loud silences as she realises she is running late
- The moodiness at us as we tell her to stop texting and try having breakfast
I am sure this resonates with many parents, but she is a wonderful child and we love her very much despite the adolescent chaos that follows wherever she may go. Her name is Katrina and I seem to remember there was a hurricane with the same name that destroyed Mississippi some years ago; our Katrina does this to any room she enters every day!
So it was in the lull of calm post morning daughter that the news was received about Oscar. I was literally stunned by the story unfolding in front of us. This man achieved what no other Paralympian had every done:
- He had run in both the Olympics and Paralympics, transcending both communities, linking both communities, breaking down the barriers between the two;
- He had made the Paralympics acceptable to the ‘abled-bodied’ viewers and turn it from a minority viewing to another part of the whole amazing spectacle in London in 2012;
- He had become a world leader in representing what was possible regardless of the barriers life deals you;
- He was a role model that inspired not just the disabled population but the non-disabled population too;
- He had enthralled the world, and in particular one minute part of the world – me;
He was and in many ways still is, a hero to me, the most positive image of disability one could have, held on the highest of pedestals by me at a time I was somewhat struggling with my own disability. Oscar picked me up, made me realise that my own disability was but a barrier in my mind, and that I could achieve what I wanted regardless. He thrilled me as he slid down the lanes of competition on his blades of capability. He was like a rocket of ability racing at the speed of light, this blur between the white lane markings, winning not just the race but the admiration, the respect and the genuine esteem of all who watched.
This lion of a man, this giant in our midst, this man who had staked his place in history and was admired by millions. This man who was the most recognisable and followed disabled person in the world was cuffed and his face covered by a coat, like some common criminal. I really didn’t believe what I was hearing, and I hope it is not true. I am for not one moment judging Oscar as guilty as he is innocent until proven guilty by a court of course. For the sake of millions of people that admire and see him as someone to aspire to I also hope this is just some tragic event that goes beyond my words to describe. Of course my prayers go out to the family and friends of the woman that died, such a dreadful occurrence and I hope they find peace as time goes by. I just felt I needed to write that the saying could well be true:
Tragic for all concerned and the world will watch with interest as this terrible story unfolds.
Smiling Cat Ventures and Innovations Group
Smiling Cat Ventures Ltd (www.smilingcatventures.org)
Innovative Minds At Work Ltd (www.innovativemindsatwork.org)
Moments in Time Ltd (www.momentsinmind.org)
Innovative Business Consultancy Ltd (www.ibcv.org.uk)
Systems of Equality Ltd
Passport to Care Ltd (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)
Spiritual Inclusion (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)
Disability In Business Centre (in development)
Additional Information can be found at: