Have you ever heard the phrase ‘a chip off the old block?’ It’s usually used to compare a parent and child when the latter displays some characteristic reminiscent of the former. ‘Ah so little Johnny likes football? He’s a chip off the old block then.’ The majority of the time it’s intended as a compliment and parents’ chests burst with pride when they hear the words. We’ve done alright, the kids are being taught good habits and following in our footsteps.
I don’t want our kids to be a chip off the old block when it comes to me. They can chisel away at Fionnuala’s to their hearts content but potential sculptors may stay well clear of me. Why? Well, I’m not proud of the old block that was Stephen Black. The more you chipped away towards his core the more you discovered his many flaws and weaknesses. He lurked at the rear of the museum, well away from the masterpieces.
I can chip with the best of them. For the last seven years I’ve been chipping away at my old self, smoothing rough surfaces and working towards a new, improved version of moi. It’s a work in progress and it may never see the full light of day but as for the chipped remnants. They can be swept up and consigned to the rubbish bin, never to see the light of day or be inherited by the hatchlings.
Some might say I’m being hard on myself but it’s a tough truth I’m not ashamed to write about it. We all need to pick up our chisels and work towards revealing the real us buried within that hard, shapeless lump of granite. It’s in there somewhere, you just have to believe and be prepared to put the work in to find it. Change can happen and will. Don’t be an old block, you are so much more than that.