04 May Life Lessons – Desert Island Discs
Keith Richards, Hugh Bonneville, Lily Allen, Alex Crawford and Berry Gordy have been keeping me company lately. On long car journeys to visit clients or when I’m working from home. Mainly after a long day whilst I’m soaking in the bath, face mask on, eyes closed.
45 minutes of music and conversation on the BBC iPlayer with people who really have something to say. Or perhaps it’s not that they have something to say, it’s just that they are worth listening to.
Desert Island Discs has been around forever, since 1942 to be exact but until recently I’d never paid attention. Now I find myself addicted. I need my fix at least twice weekly, more if I make the time. Time to listen. Time to quieten the noise of my brain and really focus on just one thing.
The conversations inspire me. They are full of answers to questions I didn’t know were puzzling me. I have a lot of Eureka moments when I listen. My approach is to look at the names on the list and choose someone I’ve never heard of, or type a first name into the search box and see who appears. ’Alice’ brought me the joy of listening to Alice Walker talk about activism and writing The Colour Purple, a book that I love. ‘John’ uncovered John Timpson talking of the challenges of fostering children, being swindled in a family business and second chances. Noel Gallagher talks of a fast rise to fame, sibling rivalry and cleaning up his act for his missus. Architect Zaha Hadid is an interesting listen, awkward at times but incredibly frank and honest. Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyds Bank talks of building strong teams, when to walk away, and risk. Yinka Shonibare, Lemn Sissay and Ray Winstone moved me to tears.
There’s magic in these recordings. I feel the need to share because they are full of wisdom, and experience and considered thought, compassion and honesty. If you’ve watched the news lately it feels like the world is drowning in a sea of hate, violence, financial ruin and political chaos. There’s little mention of hope. Hope doesn’t make the headlines.
The problems we face as individuals, in personal relationships, in business and as families are nothing new. The back catalogue of desert island interviews is testament to that and also to the strengths of humanity. It fills me with hope.
Tune in, really listen and see what you discover.
(Thanks to K and N for suggesting I give Desert Island Discs a second chance, initially the theme tune put me off. Sacrilege I know, it’s a classic but well, I’ve still to appreciate it’s melody.)