Emmancipating Tennis Stars

© WTA ….. Emma Raducanu, five minutes ago: before her future began

On a scale of 1 – 10, how sp-Lendidly happy is it Emma Raducanu won the second Grand Slam event in which she played? That’d be a 42?

Fresh as a daisy and fragrant as mimosa, the potential for her life to blossom makes it all the more important she’s given a chance to live privately. Remember when the teenage Rafa Nadal sat bouncing with excitement between the very retired Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe as the three of them were being interviewed at Queens Club some time in the v. early Noughties? And you just knew glittering prizes were destined for the smiling Mallorcan yet to win his first major tournement?

Well, the same could be said for the graceful 18-year old whose Bromley tennis development is the shot in the arm the country needs right now.

Wouldn’t be gorgeous if she were shielded from all the social mediocrity which seems to demolish so much of what is never really given a chance? By freeing herself from the emotional baggage which can journey alongside players in all fields, she will grow within the resilience she’ll need for her long, long … long career.

We hope this emancipated, hard-working tennis player continues developing emotional intelligence along with her game, winning all she blooming well deserves.


It is meaningful this shining, hopeful Hope won her first Title at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens on the day the world was paying attention to Manhattan, the Pentagon and Shanksville Field. Reshaping history, smoothing its edges. It shows dark evapourates in Light.


Peace it together


Before the encroaching Coronavirus tide engulfs us all, there is some really cheerful news on the Listening front.

You know that we’ve been banging on about Listening and teaching its skills since the Nineties. You may also be aware we feel proud of the effect this has had in raising its crucial role in fostering understanding and bringing it to the top of many an agenda?

The hard work of leaving oneself behind and devoting one’s whole attention on the speaker, their words and delivery is something we recommend practising every day, like piano practice.

The dividends Listening yields far out-stretch the effort required. Not only are you gifting some-one their voice but in offering the kindness implicit to generosity of spirit, you grow as a human being. The symbiosis has an immediate effect of soothing situations, cooling heated encounters and creating space to ventilate thinking.

Well now, the gorgeous news is more important work is being done to reinforce the emphatic place Listening … or Deep Listening … has in poulticing perspectives. By offering acknowledgement and validation, those in dialogue receive the shattering relief – that doesn’t leave one in pieces – of being heard.

If you can, listen to Crossing Divides today or catch it on @bbc5live iplayer. Emotional intelligence needs folk like Emily Kasriel, a solutions-focussed journalist who has edited this series which seeks to bring peace between ears, sufficient to hear the pain.

Untangling the web


Image                                                                          Funnel-web spider’s crib

One of the scintillating qualities the mind possesses is that of sieve. It allows the stuff of life to fall through until such time as we’re ready to see it or feel it … or hear it: know what I mean?

A wonderful mathematician & computer scientist was speaking of how she mustered support to save Bletchley Park by means of connecting with like-minded strangers through the twitosphere.

I’m not sure if being ‘very very pants’ is something that can be said in sentient company: nonetheless, it is an accurate description of my techné in this area. Her words had me dashing to squint at @emotionalresilience and #Empathy and … all those aspects of existence on which these pages comment.

It was a depleting experience: seems there ain’t many of us who reason these matters … matter.

The Materials that we supply – not only here but in universal encouragement to let lives speak – inform how generously we can contribute to the wider world. What’s done becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy: being gloomy causes one gloom just as a kind act ignites kindness.

It’s not rocket science: it’s more sophisticated than that.

Cutting off our face to spite our nose


© BBC                                                                              Cassandra O’Brien Δ.17 whose life was extended through a series of 708 plastic surgery operations, until she was nothing but a piece of skin stretched onto a frame with eyes and a mouth, connected to a brain in a jar.

This tragic figure from Dr Who: an exemplar of the aphorism I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. 

Twenty sixth October 2018. It’s the last summer-timed Friday of the United (sic) Kingdom’s place in the European project.

The manner of our departure isn’t helping: absence by a thousand cuts. We are living through history: and we shall be judged harshly for the transformation from nobly profiled figurehead to featureless irrelevance.

Rather than carp, how can we help? Concentrate on flourishing the country which appears in the grip of a lack of good manners.

Sound … irrelevant? Well, the better one behaves, the stronger one grows. Mebbie this is just the moment to add to campaigns of strengthening our behaviour with courtesy, kindness and consideration?

The deepening of humanity in each of us is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of life by virtue of the virtues it develops. If you want to be Great, be kind. If it wants to be Great Britain once more, it has to be kind to itself.

Granted, an empathic stretch of the imagination will be needed to grasp just how crucial a role temperate rationalism will play in long-term success. Yet if we are inert in commitment to flourish these isles, forget Britain after the Romans’ departure. It’ll be as though we’re erased from the future.

Cassandra O’Brien Δ.17 is an identification tag. A tag removes the humanity from the … object. What remains after removing humanity from humanity? Prisoners. Evolving prisons to focus on education may assist restoring self esteem. Moral decay is preceeded by emotional decay. We can, at least, prevent that.

Lean on me


© Scott Merrylees                                                                     Gauthier Ganaye

Emotional resilience has a brand new Poster Pin-Up. Gauthier Ganaye is Barnsley Football Club’s chief exec.

He learnt of a supporter’s depression and wrote him an empathic, supportive letter encouraging his efforts to overcome the black dog of his spirits.

Splen-bloomin’-dacious. Or, Spectemur Agendo should we say? He has taken the club’s motto to heart for we judge him by his acts.

This recently-Thirty year old Frenchman has risen fast in a sector which, hitherto, has seldom been able to yodel its credentials in acknowledging validation of human-ness.

Perhaps his success is bound to the kind of man he is? How we  do something is how we do everything, after all. C’est tellement beau que nous trouvions l’humanité dans le football.

It’s far too early to quip the lean times of the sport are over but with the Southgates and, now, Ganayes of the world featuring high in the football firmament, mebbie there is reason to hope imaginative compassion comes to inform how we lean on each other and the high-scoring sense of so-doing?