Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Grow The Roses


A wise man once said to me, “From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success.” Well, he wasn’t really wise, he was Lionel Jeffries the actor, and he never said it to me but sung it in the Disney film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Yet the maxim remains true, even far away from the reaches of The Child Catcher and Baron Bomburst.

 

A newspaper editor once fired the aforementioned Walt Disney because he, “lacked imagination and had no ideas.” We all know he went on to head a global entertainment industry.  His head, incidentally, the stuff of urban legend. Frozen in perpetuity? Stolen? Revived and attached to another body? All likely to be false but his dreams and our childhood memories are now deeply frozen together. All this from a man deemed a failure in the creativity department.

 

Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old and his teachers labelled him, “slow” and, “mentally handicapped.” The whole world now knows of his Special Theory of Relativity, even if most of us are too slow to understand its intricacies. His head had the brain removed, at death, and now exists in fragments, petri dishes, museums and universities across the world, much like his ideas that changed our thinking of it and its place in the universe. Not bad for a so-called dunce.

 

“Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” A response by a studio executive to an early Fred Astaire screen test.  It is not known what happened to the exec, I’d like to think he was last seen flying down to Rio. Neither, I believe, had their heads or brains removed.

 

Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed prototypes before his vacuum cleaner really sucked. Jerry Seinfeld was booed off from his very first stand-up gig. Colonel Sanders recipe was rejected by hundreds of restaurants before he decided to go it alone. Even the mighty Henry Ford had three failed businesses behind him before he decided you could have any colour as long as it’s black. Thomas Edison, “too stupid to learn anything.” Winston Churchill, school failure. Marilyn Monroe’s first contract with Colombia Pictures expiring because they thought her not talented and pretty enough to make it.

 

Most people have many more, ‘ashes of disaster’ than they do, ‘roses of success’ Not all of us go on to be, or want to be, famous filmmakers, scientists, actors, models or inventors. Next time the crap is piling up just remember that the sweetest smelling flower more often than not needs
the stinkiest of compost to bloom. Not my words, dear reader, but those of Dick van Dyke’s dad.

 

 
Stephen Kerr 2013 (with thanks to Business Insider.com for the information).

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