Ten take-aways from this session:
- Choose the odds to be in your favour
- Have faith that something good will happen
- How do you give hope to people?
- How do you inspire hope when you speak?
- Have certainties that you can get to that goal
- Hope is the strongest driver you can have
- Put yourself in other people’s shoes
- Be clear on what you want and what you need
- Start a dialogue and listen
- What would you do right now if you had absolute hope?
***The following transcript has been automatically generated and is presented here unchecked***
LinkedIn Live Hope_ the thread that binds us together
hope, people, faith, david, life, circumstances, school, optimism, bit, hopeful, suppose, question, teacher, year, big, talked, work, parents, thought, children
Nadine Powrie [00:02]
and it says we are live. Okay, a very good afternoon to everybody. I’m Nadine Powrie, Executive and leadership coach, workplace mediator, and doctoral researcher.
Hi, I’m David. I am a pastor of a church in Gloucestershire.
I don’t know what else I’m I’m also a dad. Yeah, I’m a guest here. So thank you for having me, everyone.
Nadine Powrie [00:28]
Very well. Welcome to you.
Hi, I’m Jenny Ling. I’m a consultant, primarily in education, I develop leaders and work alongside schools to help them improve.
Hi, everybody, my name is Jan Danes, I’m an education consultant, doing some leadership support some school improvement, and we have inspection stuff. And I’m also a dad. And I’m also very happy to be here. So thanks so much.
Nadine Powrie [00:56]
That’s a great introduction. Great. Thank you very much, everybody. Okay, so today, we are going to be having a conversation around hope. And we we worked on a title and the title is hope the thread that binds us together, which is a lovely political title. I guess the words behind that was something quite personal for me, because I’ve started a PhD around hope. And I’m examining how hope is influencing the impact of perceived difficult conversation in the world of business. And I thought, I’d love to have a conversation about hope with, you know, lots of people and see what they are saying, in view of what I am reading while I’m doing my lit review. And John suggested David, and we had a pre chat with David, because every time we do a LinkedIn live, we do a roundtable, we invite people to have a pre chat with us. And, and David came and had lots to say, so we thought, let’s just do it, you know? So so let’s start with the first question, which is, how can we define hope? Good question.
Can you start us?
Alright, um, I think hoax. Really? I think it’s really difficult to define, I think, I think it’s, I mean, is it something we feel, is it something we do? Is it something we have? Is all of those things? I think I, I mean, I was looking at some of the, the, I suppose, you know, so I come from a specific context on this. And, you know, in the Bible, which is, you know, what, as a pastor is kind of my, my go to book, that there’s a few different words for hope and ancient Hebrew and Greek. And, interestingly, the Greek word used in the Bible for hope, as alphas. Make sure alphas that’s it. Not Greek scholar just to throw that out there. It’s actually us then the story of Pandora’s Box, which isn’t in the Bible at all. But Greek mythology, does anyone know anything about the authority, the Pandora’s box, you know, she’s given us box, she’s told not to open it? She does, because I think we’d all do that. If we were given a box we were told not to open, and all of the these, that badness comes out of the box. And the last thing left in the box is the personification of hope, this little butterfly, called LPs. And so it flies out and brushes, Pandora with its wings, and Pandora is healed from all of the difficulty that’s in our life. No. And the idea behind that story is that what I took from it anyway, is the idea that the in the New Testament and in Greek thinking hope is something that is active, something that that happens to you rather than something net essentially embellished and take on I hadn’t thought about that before. But I suppose my conclusion to your question of what is the definition of hope, as so I think it’s something that’s it’s having faith that something will happen is having faith that I certainty that something will happen the other two words in the Bible for for a hope as Yakko, which is just waiting, simply just waiting, that’s a Hebrew word and the other one is, cover and carve means cord. So to pull on a chord sort of covers is waiting with tension. So there’s, there’s an emotion there’s a feeling and an activity to it. But But in all of those contexts, where it’s used to cope requires a response from us. So I suppose that’s maybe where the debt the difference between optimism and a way of seeing things for us hope requires an action from us. Does that make sense? So that’s kind of where my head’s at with it. Probably not filled definition.
Can I pick you up on the action? I’m not, I’m not. I love the way you’ve brought in the different cultures, and the different beliefs about hope. And the differences hope is requires an action from you. So what is the action that it requires? What do you what do you if I want? What do I have to do? What is that action?
Yeah, okay. If you want hope, what do you have have to do? I think, hope so.
Do you have to put your faith in something?
Yeah, I think so. I think that’s really the crux of business as putting your faith in something there, whether that’s, I suppose, to, I would say, I put my faith in God, that’s my, where I get my hope from. But whether that’s putting your faith in a probability, putting your faith in a historical events, so we have, we hope that we can’t guarantee the sun will rise tomorrow, none of us have a switch that will make a rise. But we all within us hope that it will rise, almost know that it will rise. But I think if we looked at it really cool, because it’s risen every day for the past. However many days, there are my maths, isn’t that good? So, you know, I think there’s a it’s based on your faith in something, whether that’s your understanding your perspective, a religious thing, a scientific thing, whatever it is, I think it requires faith behind it.
Yeah, I mean, the ability, the probability thing is a really interesting idea, isn’t it? So we’re pretty, we’re pretty certain that the sun will rise tomorrow. So our hope is founded on something that is, we know is pretty much going to happen.
Nadine Powrie [07:11]
I don’t necessarily agree with the fact that we know, because when I’m doing my when I’m doing my research, I agree that it’s related to an estimation of probabilities, but we can be conscious and unconscious about it. Because when we’ve chosen the example of the weather, so that’s, that’s an easy example. Okay, but I think sometime, we can be unconscious, of the, of the probability, we just, it just comes but we can’t really explain it. And we are choosing the odds to be in our favor. Yeah, that’s, that’s how I see things to pick up on Jenny’s point about actions. I was actually doing a survey today when I do my elite review. And today, there was something quite interesting that I read about methodology. And one of the things that I want to do is I want to ask people, when I give them the word hope, I want them to name all the words that they can think about. Just to understand how it’s linked to action, how it’s linked to emotions, how it’s linked to morale, you know, optimism, or whatever, to just get an idea about what it means for people because it may mean different things. And people may associate hopes with different ideas, and I and journeys question about, you know, what sort of actions are we talking about, for those who have no face? Then what actions are they going to take if they are hopeful?
And do you have to have faith, either religious or some other faith in something or someone to feel cope? Because it’s not? Is it? Is it something that’s inextricably linked with something else? So, hopefully, faith? Is it the fact that somebody will do something? Is it linked to the fact that the sun will rise? It’s, is it kind of
don’t respond to this will not respond, contribute? David, why you think are we ready to go? Now? I’m because one of the questions that we’ve asked is we posed is faith, optimism? What’s the same thing? Are they different? And I and I think that what we’ve been talking about in the last few minutes, is the nub of the difference. That I think optimism is is is an attitude of frame of mind. So you you are you can choose to be optimistic. Hope I I think on the other hand is based on something it’s based on. On. We’ve used the word faith before. It’s based on we’ve used the word probability. It’s based on a knowledge. So it’s not it’s not so much an attitude is that there’s a, there’s kind of a bit of intelligence, whether it’s subconscious intelligence or, or conscious weighing up of the probabilities. You know, and however that information comes to you, it’s based on on that it’s a bit more firmly rooted than, than attitude. You, you can just have.
Nadine Powrie [10:38]
I agree, I think I think optimism is more general, whereas hope is more focused on a specific aspect. And hope is always linked to goals and pathways to something specific.
Yeah. Yeah, essentially, I think. And just to add to that, I think hope takes in a broader picture that optimism, maybe so I would say optimism is is seeing the positive or the best and the circumstances, whereas I think hope, hope can or cannot be related to circumstance. So you can see people with with dreadful, dreadful circumstances who hurts, they’ll have bucket loads of hope. Yeah. And the same, you can see people with brilliant circumstances who have bucket loads of hope. But I think optimism is so optimism is looking around and, and almost ignoring some of the obstacles and looking only at the positives, whereas I would say hope is looking around, and looking at both all of the obstacles. And the end goal, and the positives and going, I have, I have faith, I have a certainty I have whatever, whatever word you want to put in there that that I can get to that goal. So I think that I think there’s a subtle difference, I think it’s quite an important difference. So
Nadine Powrie [12:02]
when when, when do you when you say, circumstances? What do you mean by that?
Oh, well, I was thinking, just kind of life circumstances. So I had to know what would come to mind. So that an example that I was reading a book this morning guy, George Miller to George Miller ring a bell. So he found that one of the first I think, possibly the first orphanage in the UK, and in Bristol, and he kind of you know, he, at many points was completely penniless, you know, social services would have closed them down for the lack of funding, and, you know, it wouldn’t have got happened today. But, you know, he was taking kids off the street and kids who would have had to go into work age, you know, six and upwards. You know, this was this is obviously very historical and, and one thing that happened was he was just constantly hopeful through the whole thing, hopeful that funding would come in hopeful that Charlie’s children’s lives have been turned around hopeful that he would work with families to, to nurture and develop their, their skills and parenting that they’ve not had given to them. He was just constantly hopeful, but the circumstances in which he operated, you know, financially, the people that he worked with their their situations, were just all, you know, you can imagine kind of think, you know, two or 300 years ago, in a city of Bristol, poverty, you know, but he was just constantly hopeful that as it was like, when he like one of the questions that we posted up that everything will be okay. So I suppose that’s what I meant by circumstances, but it could be your financial circumstances, your emotional circumstances, your work circumstances, any of that stuff. You know, you look around, assess the lay of the land and Gorky. There’s a very steep hill coming up. But I’m really hopeful that I’ll get to the top of it. Whereas an optimist might say, there’s a really steep slope coming up. I’m gonna get a really good cardio workout here. Yeah. Does that make sense? Is that Yeah,
yeah, it’s really interesting, because I you’re saying, and I think I mean, relating into circumstances, some of the things that struck me about hope is some of these things that you see on television, for instance, in in Sudan, or in a refugee camp, or all these, these programs about refugees primarily, and you find some little bright sparks in those places who want to go on to be a doctor, or who are determined to get to the UK who have this spirit of hope. And what I’m wondering is, is hope actually one of the strongest drivers that you can have is hope a driver because if you’re stuck situation that you see is hopeless. What impact does that have on how you then take the next few steps? Word. Whereas if you’re in exactly the same circumstances, but you have hope, how will that impact? I’m just, I’m just kind of mulling this over as you were talking because I had this image of one child and particularly young teen who had talked so hopefully, and I will, that made me wonder I just put his hope or driver, do you think that’s what is one of our strongest drivers? In fact?
I just want to pick that up. And I’m, I’m certain there’s two major things in my life that are that speak into that one is I lived and worked in Malawi in Sub Saharan Africa for a year without being an IT academy. They’re in a township, and it was it was poor, poor, poor, super poor, but, but the children that would play in the mud in the gutters, had the has bigger smiles on their faces, certainly Nink linked directly to hope. But in this instance, it absolutely was, that they were they were they, because an absence of hope, in that in that in those circumstances, despite the fact that no shoes on their feet, you know, very one set of clothes, but they’re their lives were full of joy and full of hope, because, well, for various complex reasons. And then the the the other circumstance where I learned so much is I was I was hired as a head of a residential special school with the the most disabled youngsters he would find. And at times, the whole school would be in fitzer. Laughter And there was just a hope that exuded from the classrooms and the corridors, obviously, not all the time, because we were doing life. But their circumstances are ones that some people would say quite how can these people be hopeful? Well, absolutely. They were. And I think it’s there’s a complex, a complex of internal calculation, but you don’t even realize you’re doing to do with perception of your reality perception of your of your context. And then what is likely to happen to you in in the future. So I don’t think so. So it isn’t related to affluence? Absolutely not. It isn’t related to being to being rich, because you can be rich and lack hope and affluence. And it’s it’s much more complicated. In, in that it’s tied up with, as I said, perceptions of with regard to a whole series of things.
Nadine Powrie [17:35]
Whether, yeah, hope is really, we we read a lot about hope, for end of life conversation. And for people who, who have cancer, and who have to keep having hope to survive, actually, so, so hope can have a very different context. And I mean, I remember my father had cancer. And I remember that for him to, to keep hope, going to keep his hope and his survival going going. Every time when he would come back from a chemo session, he would call and cut the grass. And the fact that he could cut the grass in the you know, we had quite a big house, the fact that he could cut the grass would measure would give him a measure of the hope that he was enabling of allowing himself to have
said he was well enough to do that.
Nadine Powrie [18:41]
That was a that was a measure of the hope that he allowed him himself to, to have
realized, sorry, that he realized he was coming towards the end of his life.
Nadine Powrie [18:53]
Yes, yes. Yeah. So hope you can measure hope and hope, you know, how long is hope? How big is hope?
Yeah. I mean, David, in your role, you must have come across that sort of situation a number of times.
Yeah, I have and I suppose personally, as well, and you know, so my mom my wife says is she’s having a third lot of chemo next week, actually. So she she has cancer and she’s had autoimmune illness since she was in her 20s. And then, you know, she shouldn’t according to the doctor, she shouldn’t be alive today. She definitely shouldn’t be surviving chemo and be alive today. And I it’s funny, you know, we reflect on it now as as adults that growing up. We never felt like, you know, as a child, I would have never said my mom was unwell because he just has this sense of victory and hope and kind of, I don’t know. There was like you kind of say It didn’t there was this internal drive that just seemed to make life happen regardless of what was, you know, going on internally. Yeah, it’s great. It’s quite incredible. Really. I mean, my suppose my personal experience, it was funny when I, when John asked me to do this light bulbs just gone pop. John asked me to do this, I sign up to live on LinkedIn. When janitors have for my dad and said, Dad, you never gets what there’s three people that used to be teachers and our head teachers involved in education, and they want to hear my opinion on something because we, I hated school arts. And so when I was, yeah, so I really dyslexic. And the school that I went to primary school head teacher just didn’t believe existed, then, you know, I was kind of told I was lazy. And I was either lazy and intelligent, or stupid and hardworking, I had to kind of choose between the two. And it was, it was really bad. And, you know, it was that kind of percolated down into the teaching. And I had one teacher that actually believed them at all. But that seemed like there was things that I was had to every day, I had to stand up and read in front of the class, even though they knew I couldn’t read. You know, it was that that was my morning, coming to school, stand up, read from the boards, well, try to read from the board and then sit down. So, you know, by the time I was eight or nine, I was just really, really depressed. And, you know, I was at the point where I just didn’t want to live anymore at the age of eight. And so, you know, I had this, you talk about, you know, a tunnel, and there being a light at the end of the tunnel at the age of eight or nine, you know, through to 12 or 13, there is no light at the end of that tunnel, because you’re not going to get educated, you’re not going to get a job, you’re not going to be able to provide for your family, not gonna be able to do any of the things that children generally just don’t have to worry about. And I, you know, I knew I had to worry about those things, because my teachers told me, I had to worry about those things. And then didn’t tell me so sooner my relationship with education has been pretty rocky throughout the years. So we were just chuckling at the Yeah, you know, swings and roundabouts, everything comes around. But anyway, so you know, in that state, my really personal experience of who came from my parents, and I think this is the, you know, the the thread that binds us together as hope is infectious. And I think you can pass it from one person to another. And so my parents were both are both Christians. And they have, they had faith. So I suppose the bottom line of Christian faith is actually similar to one of the questions that was asked, as, you know, what would you do right now, if you knew everything was going to be okay? And kind of the basis of Christian faith is having faith and knowledge or faith or belief that everything will be okay in the end. And so, my parents believed that and they believed that they pass that on to me. And so I took hope from that, and my hope came from even from a young age knowing that despite my circumstances, I believed that, you know, I know some people might think I’m pie in the sky in a bit deluded. And that’s fine. But I believe that, that God had a purpose and a plan for me, regardless of what anyone else told me. And so I felt that gives me such tremendous hope. And then moving forward. You know, my last job, I worked at a cafe that provided support for adults and mental health issues and learning disabilities. And we gave genuine real life work placements to people that had been rejected from hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of jobs and giving somebody a purpose, give them so much hope that they can achieve, they can do something they can make their life better. And that then just the hope just snowballs and snowballs, you know, it got to the point where actually, volunteers had been around for a while. We just had to kind of stick them amongst volunteers that hadn’t been around for awhile because the hope just passed from one to the other that you wonderful story.
So that’s kind of my personal experience of hope. But yeah, my job you know, every major life event a pastor is supposed to be there, right? You know, funerals, weddings, you know, children dedication of children. You know, the last year has been I did a funeral Arlington, right at the first lockdown where a lady had passed away. And this was when we thought that COVID was going to you know, kind of take a massive toll on everyone over the age of 70 and we didn’t really know anything about it. So the crematorium said immediate family all miss you had one brother and she hadn’t spoken to him in 20 odd years and and he had wanted to make amends and it hadn’t worked out very complicated for And he turned up with his wife. And those were the only two in the whole building. And you’re going, how on earth do you pass hope on in a situation like this idea? inspire hope into this situation? And you know, that was that was that was probably one of the most challenging services I’ve ever done. I think. Yeah, so you know, and that’s the fit is trying to find. Yeah, I think a lot of it comes down to belief and purpose and helping people to understand what their belief and what their purpose is, even if it’s not the same as mine. That’s kind of a what? Sorry, I
know, David. No, it’s absolutely fascinating. I wanted to say that it connects with a number of the sessions, we’ve come around to purpose and how important it is to have a purpose and the things that then derive from that. But I just wanted to come in we’ve, we’ve we’ve had three comments from two people. The first one is someone who right early on says, interesting conversation. So I can’t say who you are, because you’ve done his LinkedIn user. But thank you. I think I’m finding it really interesting. And then someone that we all know really well. A friend of ours in Cornell, great guy is who says, David, your testimony is great. Thank you. And he has a question, which is me to ask you. Can you see it? Yeah. I mean, I will say for people who can’t see the comments, it says, Can I ask David if he’s hope, or his faith came first?
Nadine Powrie [26:41]
Thank you, Ian.
Yeah, yeah. Thanks, you. I would say my, my hope came first, I think. But I think because of so I think I came first and my hope came second. Does that make sense? So I think, you know, just as, as any young child, you’re kind of, you’re almost for the first few years, your life inherit your parents way of doing things to you until you find your own. And so I think I was my faith. And then came first. And then my hope and then my, my faith. And I suppose that does that make sense? I don’t quite know. Probably like, I mean, I was I it’s funny I, that that period of my life was we’ve just talked about children in refugee camps that, you know, I think I had it pretty easy compared. But that period of my life was so difficult for me, I really struggled to kind of think back and actually think of anything I felt other than sadness and hope. Which sounds a bit depressing. But that, you know, partly because I was so young, but also just, you know, I mean, I’ve not got the best memory anyway. But I think that, yeah, I’m not sure I can answer that question, honestly. Yeah, sorry.
Sorry, can I just pick up on something that you said, David, because I think my heart sitting here bleeding for what you’re saying about schools. And actually, it’s a particular bugbear of mine, that schools aren’t able to see the different needs of the children within the schools. And it’s not all about academia. I mean, we’ve all got, you know, a background or background in schools, but I can say hand on heart that you wouldn’t have had that same experience if you’d been at my school, because I’d have moved heaven and earth to make sure that you got the sort of education that you needed. But the other thing I wanted to say, and so really strongly is last week, a couple of weeks ago, we had a guy on called Max, who was personal trainer, and he was severely dyslexic. And I’ve worked with him for about four years now. So I know about his struggle at school as well. And you and he are the most inspiring role model for boys in particular, because they I think they struggle with this a little bit more than girls, but for people who, for whom school doesn’t, my daughter has all sorts of learning difficulties in school didn’t fit for her. And I watched her struggling all that time. So I think that the three of us may be axe heads, but when very, very conscience, that school is not for everyone. And that people such as yourself, who can come out of school with your depth of expertise and your wisdom, and you’re obviously super bright. But in school, if you’re not succeeding, it’s very difficult to feel that you are super bright. Because all the feedback that you’re getting is telling you that you’re not and can I just say to you, you are on obviously super bright and you are the person you are as a result of what you’ve been through. And I just, you know, I take my hat’s off to you for getting through it with hope. And with the ability to give back the way that you have got.
No, thank you. I think it’s, yeah, thank you. I think it’s funny, I think it’s actually possibly had a bigger negative impact on my, my parents and my brother than it has on me, because I went through it, I can kind of, you know, I can sit here and deal with it. So my brother, which made things even worse, is a think of an absolute genius. That is my brother, he’s doing his thing. He’s doing a second doctorate. And he’s 29. You know, he’s and so he’s, what’s he doing? Is he studying? Well, a second doctor, it’s not really a doctor as well as studying medicine. He is writing lectures for the dental lectures at university, he’s delivering vaccines and as in giving vaccines and he designs websites on the site for a hobby like that’s the kind of guy he is right. So I followed him through school. And, and actually, he he, he really struggled because of what you know, emotionally because of what happened to me and his his sense of unfairness and the whole thing. Which is fascinating to me, we’re going off topic here, but I think, yeah, I mean, so So I do some mental part of my job, I go into local school and do some one to one mentoring with pupils that are dis productive, and I think part of it the school like it, because I think we get, you know, it’s not just me, there’s other people that I think would genuinely help. But every now and then I wonder if it’s because the teacher quite likes half an hour break from what we see.
Nadine Powrie [31:45]
I have I have a question actually about what you’re just saying. So you’re going to school and you do some mentoring? So how do you speak the language of hope to those kids? To?
Good question. Yeah, so I just talked about my experience. That’s really what I do put my, well, first of all, I tried to put myself in their shoes, which is relatively easy for me. I mean, especially the young guys, right. I think one of the things that, you know, obviously, I Somebody asked me the other day, I got something that I did a punctuation thing incorrectly. On a Sunday, I was writing and someone said, jokingly, someone did the math teacher, that’s, that is school, and I went well, all I learned at school was how to cheat and fight. That was pretty much it. And because that’s, that’s all, you know, I surrender stability. That’s how I learned how to do to defend myself. And, and that’s, that’s it. And a lot of the guys that I see that’s the develop coping mechanisms, whether that’s going into themselves, whether that’s outbursts, whether that’s just not appearing to not care, all of this stuff, and so I just try and put myself into their shoes, and then think well, where, what would make me feel hope or what did make me feel hopeful in that circumstance. And, and a huge part of that is hearing from someone else who’s been through a similar thing, and as come out with come out or key out the other end. So we talk a lot about that we talk about what they experience by experience, I think just listening to someone as well. And actually, I think that it’s interesting. You mentioned also earlier on about that, yeah, hoping based on I think sometimes sometimes we get more hope from somebody beating the odds. You know, I was thinking that they have of Captain Tom, you know, the the hero, what blenders Gaiden. You know, he he did something that was against the odds for somebody his age bracket with, with his history and what he’d done and it lifted the whole country, you know, give a little country hope that we still have that kind of what we would hike back to that British wartime resilience and stickability and community and coming together, he kind of gave us, you know, hark back to that and gave us that hope. And it was completely against the odds that he would achieve what he set out to achieve. So I think beating the odds as a whole.
Nadine Powrie [34:15]
Yeah, so I’m interested in the work that you do with those students, but also in the work that you do for the community, as a pastor, so, you know, talking about the language of hope, you talk the same language of hope, when you are talking to the students and when you’re talking to the community, or is it a different language of hope?
I think yeah, it’s probably the same message packaged differently. It’s probably what it is. I would say, Yeah, I mean, that a lot of
Yeah, I mean, I think so. So quite often, the circumstances that I’ve been involved with in the community would be really quite quite dead. For call, you know, it’s about a bereavement or a breakdown of family, you know, those kind of things, addiction issues, and it’s part of the whole thing is trying to paint a picture of, of something better, paint a picture of this can get better. I think that’s a huge thing with a lot of sort of leading addiction studies is actually instead of going, you know, if you don’t start the issue out, this will happen, you know, painting the worst picture and seeing if you make these steps of progress, here is what you can hope for this is what life can be like, at the other side of this, and that’s, that’s the huge part of it is painting that visual. So quite, I suppose sharing my own story with with the guys in school is seeing that you might not want my life. But you can, there is a life. So there’s a there’s a young girl who completely I really like her, she she knows her own mind, she has her own opinions. They very rarely agree with any adult those opinions. But she wants to design trainers, when she grows up, she wants to she’s really good at art, and she wants to take you know, buy trainers online and then paint them and do all that custom stuff. And you go okay, well, well, let’s build on that. That’s a hope. That’s as a small hope that she probably doesn’t really believe she can get there. But But let’s, let’s build on that. Okay, so So how are you? Let’s picture your life like that. What? What kind of studio are you going to have? What kind of paints are you going to use? What kind of building you’re going to have, you’re going to have an office for it, you know, painting this picture of, of life could be like that. You know, and I think I think that’s kind of I think that’s the purpose of work experience isn’t that a lot of the time is to let people see what life can be like on the other side of, of education. And know that the work is going to have a big effect to me. So I went to study Civil Engineering, originally, I took a year out of school, I was well, I was asked to take a year out of school. And I had a I had a tutor for one hour a day. And I within a year I you know, so I was 11 couldn’t really read, couldn’t write really at all maths was non existent. And within a year, you know, that was all I was reading books and stuff. So you know, it was just that one to one teaching that in year two and ended up somehow doing going to so there was a school in the local schools, my mom and dad kind of lost faith in them. And so they sent me to a private school in Glasgow, and I had an entrance exam. And bearing in mind did learn to read about a few months before and right a few months before, I don’t think there was much hope that I managed to get through by row about and again, Michael came from inspiration I wrote about sir Steve Redgrave that roar who is dyslexic and achieved that, and I wrote about him, and he was a hero, and I can’t remember the criteria, but I got in. And that was kind of it. So So I went to the Civil Engineering originally. And and that was based on I’ve done some work experience with a civil engineer and thought this is a great, you know, the work itself, yeah, might not be overly exciting, but being able to create something and be a part of making something in creating, you know, putting the, the meat on the bones of a building just was was huge. That was, that’s a thought that was really, really cool. So I did that. And so if somebody has lost a loved one, it’s kind of painting a picture of, of what life could be like, in the future, what what, you know, how, how are you going to you got to tread really carefully and don’t give up. And it all takes time and in relationship because people need to grieve and go through a period of mourning, but it’s eventually being able to say, look, what, let’s get some routine and that will start to put some structure into your life that then that then gives you hope that life can go on that you can reinvent yourself or not reinvent yourself, you can be who you are. And so you know, I think it’s painting a picture of giving tools to paint a picture.
Nadine Powrie [39:18]
Can I Can you ask a question here? Because I know that a lot of people have suffered a loss this year. So how do you give hope to people you know, when somebody loses some somebody in their life, how do you give them hope?
I mean, you’re talking about painting a picture of the eventually which is kind of a is one way isn’t it?
Working out what I suppose it depends on what what What what state of mind there, Andrew, but I think it’s partly working out what they what they want, or what they need, and helping them to not necessarily see how to get there, because I think that they’ll, they need to come up with that themselves. You can facilitate that and support them to do that. But I think it’s working out what they need or what they want. And then and then giving them the belief that they can, they can get there, we talked about hope, hoping based based on faith, and so giving them faith in themselves, or faith in their, their own belief structure, their own religion, their own understanding of life to get there. Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s one of the difficulties, particularly sudden loss or loss, like people would have experienced this year, you know, particularly with the virus, it’s so random, that quite often, our whole view of life can just be pulled out, from underneath us, because of it, it completely disrupts, it trumps everything. And so it’s part of it is that part of it is who I think you can hope on someone else’s behalf. There’s a guy who I’m supporting who lost his wife last year really tragically. And it’s, it’s being able to hope on his behalf saying that maybe we can, this is I’m really who I really believe, and I really have faith, and therefore hope that you will be able to do this small that you know, you will be able to get up and go to the shop next week, you know, that’s how paralyzing the grief is, you know, you will be able to go back to work you will be and and not kind of pie in the sky optimism but actually with evidence and understanding and going, you know, and that comes with experience doesn’t really I’m fairly inexperienced as a pastor I see guys, you know, 3040 years into this who have, you know, story upon story upon story of, of how people have have, have come out with grief, and it’s been hopeless that’s dragged them out of there. So, yeah, does that answer I’m not realizing.
Nadine Powrie [42:09]
I mean, I don’t think that there is an answer. So you know, it’s very personal to people. So I’m very interested. And, um, you know, through this LinkedIn live, I’m just trying to help people as well. So I just think that it’s, it’s good to hear from you and what you have to say, I guess, another question that I really want to ask you is, have you ever had anybody challenging you on hope, saying, David, what are you talking about? This can be?
Yeah, oh, yeah.
Nadine Powrie [42:42]
I think it just depends on what it is, I suppose. So I mean, the one that kind of happens a lot, and you know, perfectly welcome. Because, you know, that’s why I like stuff like this. I think open dialogue is, you know, a necessity in life. And so are to assess it to developing life. And so one of the big things is, well, it’s just the basis of my belief, isn’t it? Is it saying, Well, you hope that this, you know, this book, the Bible is true, you believe that it’s true. And you You therefore hope and you have faith that God’s promises will come true and hope that that one day everything will be your key, one day everything will be be sorted and denote to kind of use a blunt term heaven will be there. Right? So that’s it that’s kind of that gets challenged all the time. And, you know, I welcome that challenge. And I think that it’s, you know, that’s yeah, that you know, even people who’ve who’ve gone to church or have been part of the church for years, and like we said, bereavement or some traumatic life event just pulls the rug out from under their feet. And is being able to you know, what, what I do is I go back and say, Okay, what were the things that grounded this belief in the first place? What were the things that grounded your your faith in the first place, let’s let’s go back to the real basics here. And look at what grounded that why that happened, how that happened. And let’s just just build on that and you can go off in all sorts of sort of tangents there. Now if it if it’s more of an abstract thing, and someone you know, I somebody just says I, you just have to engage in a dialogue really, and you know, be honest.
Nadine Powrie [44:37]
Do your thing that we need to have faith to have hope.
I think something we talked about didn’t wait. You know, a lot of people have faith in God, but other people have faith in other people, or, or even, you know, faith in yourself. But But we talked at the beginning about it being linked always been linked to something, didn’t we? And that’s how it became a driver. But just to reflect on what you’re saying, David, I think what’s struck me so strongly whilst we’ve been talking is what a powerful word hopeless is? Yeah. Because if you haven’t got any hope, and you haven’t got hope as a driver, what a really, really bad place to go places. Yeah, I never really thought of it as a particularly strong word, or strong concept.
Nadine Powrie [45:40]
Maybe we should teach hope then in schools journey.
I’m thinking back, do we already do that, but not call it that? We don’t call it that specifically. But I’m what I think that a lot of what we do in schools is about creating the drivers for the future, isn’t it? Yeah, we should be more specific. Yeah.
Nadine Powrie [46:05]
Maybe make it explicit? Yeah. In all our contexts,
I absolutely think that my response to that question will be will, of course, with what’s happening in schools in good schools is that is that all the components to develop hope are there but maybe the bit that is missing it, where it doesn’t shine through? Is that is that bit making it explicit? And it’s interesting, my, my wife, Lindy is, is a primary teacher, and she spends a lot of her time teaching children how to play by seems ridiculous, because, you know, the Charlie, you know, but actually, there are lots of kids who don’t know how to play, they don’t really get out to play, you know, whether it neither on their own or with others don’t get lose themselves. And it’s a little bit like that. It’s one of those obvious things, that I think we’re beginning to realize that we need to help people discern, unpack a little bit. And, and, and well, then say, Oh, well, I’m gonna say if we could teach. Yeah.
I just think of the two teachers. So when I was in secondary school, two teachers that really stood out to me, and one was an English teacher who was the grumpiest guy you’ll ever meet. But the thing that I loved about him was if you worked hard, he loved you. I know a teacher shouldn’t treat people differently, etc. But he was kind of your old, really old school kind of bit of a maverick. And he really didn’t like it when somebody was was clearly very intelligent, but just could not care less and didn’t want to work. And so I appreciate that, because I worked hard. I never really got a good grade in English, but I worked hard. And but he the thing that made me want to work hard was the fact that he had faith in me. He had faith in the fact that I would go in work hard. Yeah. And it’s interesting, that faith thing and may not be you having faith, or maybe someone else having faith in you, that gives you hope. Yeah. Yeah.
That’s why the teaching, that’s why the whole teaching vocation is so absolutely crucial. And as a teacher, if you haven’t, if you haven’t realized that, that just because of who you are, as a teacher, you you you’re in that position, then that That’s so dangerous, you know, because there’s just a massive influence that you that you have, yeah, without even trying to do anything about it. You’ve got all these little faces looking up at you. And I just pick up something that I wanted to say earlier, with regard to parents some of the account, I think it came out of Ian’s question, which came first hope or faith. And and your answer to that was really interesting, David, because you talked about your parents faith, then gave you hope, which then led to your faith, I think that’s basically a summary of what you said. Yeah. And of course, you we’ve learned from what you’ve said that you were very young, you were you were only eight in and, to me, what that just underlines is how crucial those early years of of life are. For every child doesn’t matter if you’re a child of, you know, from an affluent home or not, it’s that those early years absolutely have to be, you know, with the right input. And parents are a massive, massive, because those are the biggest, you know, I’m who I am because I tried to copy my dad, you know, who that’s who I learned from, and, you know, I’m my mom a little bit, but my dad was a boy. So I copied him, you know, etc, etc. And that’s what happens, isn’t it? And then you go up through life and you realize these other people that have influenced and you can copy and you want to be like, and they have a bit more of the kind of the balance switches, but in those early years, parents have a massive, massive impact, just because what they do Yeah, I think even
Well, Charlie, but just underlying the fantastic a really interesting discussion that we’re having David and I hate to say it again, but she says you a really inspirational guy. Really lucky to, to have you. So a number of people thanking you for your input and your story in your testimony.
Yeah, nice job, you know, that would make me feel awkward someone calling me. I’ll be like, we’re all inspirational. It’s just some of us are arrogant enough to talk about it. I think the I mean, it just to come back. I think Jenny was saying about being in a situation of hopelessness. So I, you know, the cover shot that I managed, worked out and then was manager of was, we had a mental health droppin, so from 6pm, to 11pm, and evening, anyone in any condition with any diagnosis could just come in for a coffee or free coffee and a chat. And that obviously, then throws up, you know, you can imagine that, you know, city center coffee shop, would would be like, and so, you know, we were on more than one or two occasions, dealing with people who had, who were who felt completely hopeless, you know, who were in that condition. And, you know, there was I mean, so I started the week that the mental health drop in open, that was a bit of a baptism of fire. And, you know, I think about three weeks later, I can really clearly about a lady who had really sadly taken 100, Native aspirin tablets, and then wandered in. And, you know, just trying to, I think that was probably my first experience of real, of seeing somebody else in a situation of real hopelessness, in that moment. And that is where, again, like you’re seeing coming right back to the basics of what do you and it comes down to hope is, what can you give them hoping, no matter how small or trivial that makes him to us, but what can you give them hope, and as you know, and we would give out free coffees that was probably didn’t want a financial barrier to be the reason somebody didn’t come in. So it could be free, you know, they, you know, you’d get them to comment on something convinced them of something they’re enjoying, and usually, by the time they came in, because they’d been spoken to, like, you know, like a human being not like, you know, somebody to be fixed. They were in a slightly better place. And you say, Well, you know, you really enjoy this environment, you really enjoy that coffee. Sounds so trivial, but give them hope that they can come back and have another coffee tomorrow and enjoy it just as much as they are. And then give them and just build on that cycle little snowball forming and and that was the real work and people. My wife works in substance misuse structures, manages a drug and alcohol rehab in the community. And she always talks about just giving the people that she sees her service uses, as the term she has is just little snippets of hope, every single day, bit by bit bit by bit to make a life change. And I think that’s, that’s so crucial as, as not disregarding what other people hoping, regardless of how trivial it might seem. And we I think we recognize that with young children quite quite easily don’t really know. So I’ve got two year old and a three year old. And the hope is that they get a star on their behavior. Actually. If I came into work and said, I’ve done this today, can I have a star?
Maybe Maybe we shouldn’t do that. I should be an agent. I wouldn’t. You’d never think about trivializing that in a child.
But I think we all look at children as being really hopeful. They’ve got a whole life ahead of them. Yeah. And I think this is so you know, let’s just go back to that. Let’s not trivialize the little things that were hoping you guys were talking about, or know Dean was about resilience and resilience being like a muscle that we can exercise. And I think hope is really similar to that, that if we need to learn how to hope you need to learn what to do with hope, when we experience it, need to learn how to impart on to others and I think that’s, that’s a another massive question is how do you run a community for a value but the key value is hope. It’s easy enough for me to hope for one thing, but to get 100 people to hope for the same thing, that’s a, you know, another kettle of fish, but
it’s really powerful because what I mean, it’s really had resonance with me because I’ve always thought of hope like visioning. It’s, it’s the big picture in the future. You know, and sometimes that So far away, you can’t really see it like lockdown take lockdown as a as an example, you know, we’ve been given dates. So obviously, suddenly everybody’s really hopeful. But what you’ve said, and it just makes so much sense is it’s not about that far distant future. It’s about tomorrow, or it’s about in an hour’s time, and it’s about something really small. And we’ve never, you know, the eating the elephant, isn’t it? We, you know, as teachers, we will, we will go for big picture. But we’ll always go to detail as well. And I’d never really thought of hope as being a tiny step. And tiny steps are always achievable, or nearly always achievable, whereas big steps aren’t. And I think I’ve got tied up with the thing. The thought that hope is something visionary in the far distant future, but it’s not it’s actually about the next step that you’re going to take isn’t.
It is that as well, isn’t it? It is that thing in the future, we can hope for something that’s that way away. But also being able to for the for the right, people hope that you’ll be well, yeah, coffee. Next time will be thrown out on your ear.
Nadine Powrie [56:08]
Yeah. Yeah. Hope has different dimensions. Yeah. And there is a bigger hole.
Talking about what David was saying about this, you know, about hopeless, as we you know, we talked about hopeless, and if things are hopeless, then a big vision isn’t to do any good, really, is it? No, actually, it’s about getting something that you it’s smart, achievable. It’s smart, achievable, realistic time, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s doing the stuff that we think about every day, but actually building that into your internal I, I really appreciate that. I will remember that concept.
Nadine Powrie [56:48]
I think, Jenny, I think that hope is very personal as well, because for some people, it might be the big thing. For some people, it might be less big. It just depends what works for you to some extent.
And it’s finding that finding that yes, absolutely. And sort of the way that it works for me. Yeah. And I haven’t really sorted those small steps. So thank you, David. That’s really,
yeah, you’ve got a really and for your, for your uplift by your comments. Well,
if we run off of aerials, I need to get another name before it can get a treat. So I’ll give you three each, then.
Nadine Powrie [57:29]
There is one more there is one more point that I want to make is that we talked a lot about hope being ideas that we put into words in verbal communication. But hope isn’t always part of verbal communication. Hope can be, you know, part of the way that we look at people the smile that we give, you know, when you said at the very beginning, the wait, you know, we don’t have feeling the time with, with words, when we want to give hope. It can be done in a different way as well. Because given the time to, to wait, you know, we talked about we talked about this, right and giving time, as you said yourself, David people time to grief and to accept and, and to give them the space. And in that space, they can start hoping again, but that space doesn’t have to be filled in with words. And it can be filled in with silence. Yeah, completely, as well.
Yes. Or actions or responses?
Yeah. Preparation. I mean, the one thing we haven’t talked about is hoping, having kids right, when during pregnancy, I think that we’ve got two ones that, you know, seems like yesterday that we that we didn’t but you know, and it’s that is that see it as expectation is waiting with expectation, isn’t it? And and during that time, you prepare yourself. So there’s the I think, you know, who takes loads of different forms? And most of the what was the word you used? It’s who the
Nadine Powrie [59:09]
market dimension I think was the word. Yeah.
Nadine Powrie [59:15]
David, we have about a minute left. What would be your final message to those 706 Millions building?
I don’t know. I think so very much for my perspective. I think I’m a little, I think so from my perspective, I would say the Bible has more to say on hope than I do. And the place where hope is used most is in the Psalms. It’s all about emotion and hope and looking ahead and so go there. Read the Psalms. Yeah, that would be right. You know, even if there’s you don’t have any religious belief at all, as a historical book Poetry. Really interesting uncle? No, sorry, I’ve gone over 20 seconds.
Nadine Powrie [1:00:05]
No, no, no, no, that’s fine. Jenny, do you want to say anything as a final message of?
Well, I it feels like we’ve just scratched the surface. I mean, the thing, which I was hoping we might get to would be the whole, the whole idea of community and building hope within a community. And we I thought we were gonna get there with regard when we when you brought up the amazing stuff that Captain Tom did, because he not just community, but it kind of got our nation turned around in the uninstalled hope there. And there’s definitely some, some something interesting, though. I don’t know what it is. But I wish I knew. I’ve you know, involved in the community project at the minute and I’d like to be, you know, be able to do that. Now, David, it’s been fantastic. It’s been really inspiring, actually hearing what you’ve got to say. Yeah, yeah, brilliant. Wouldn’t I cuz I invited you, but you know what, I’m
genuine. Do you want I just, I’ve just so enjoyed hearing, David, your, your story, and the person that you’ve become as a result of that story, which I think is inspirational. So thanks to you and to Jan for talent spotting, as you might know, it’s been great. Thanks, David.
Nadine Powrie [1:01:19]
Jen. Do you want to mention Emma, Emma?
Emma Stratford has just come in late. Emma, where have you been? I mean, I don’t know. How can you possibly have missed the early part of this? But it will we do make this available Afters on LinkedIn. And also, if you go to the Dean’s website. If you go to YouTube, actually, it’s in your you can get all of these on there as well. So but Emma’s point is I think that hope is what connects us all. Which, which is a very uplifting kind of thing.
Nadine Powrie [1:01:52]
Yeah. Well, pretty much everybody. i It’s been a fantastic conversation, and I think we could carry on for hours. Well, we need to let you go, David, because you’re the father of two young children, presumably out behind the door waiting. We’re waiting for you. But thanks so much, David. And we look forward to you coming back.
We do. Yeah, that’s fine. Yeah. Yeah.
Nadine Powrie [1:02:21]
We have hoped that you will. Wishing you a very good evening, and thank you very much, everybody. listening on the replay. Thank you very much.