By Stanley Collymore
Lift your eyes inspirationally towards the stars and
always remember who you are and where you
came from. Measure your capabilities and
successes not through the flatteries that
you receive from others – however
good-intentioned or otherwise
these might be – but on the definitive scale
and how extensive is the reach of your
genuine achievements, derived as a
natural consequence from your own
personal endeavours and the
dedicated hard work you’ve put into them.
And as you sensibly carry on doing so,
permit no one to either belittle or
scurrilously negate what you’ve
outstandingly done – and fully
recognized that you had to –
because you decidedly chose not
to and, furthermore, resolutely
refused to countenance, let
alone would ever settle
for the mundanity of
© Stanley V. Collymore
3 June 2014.
A common thread throughout my teaching career and that I assiduously sought to instil in all my students, wherever they were, has been this invaluable mantra derived from and inculcated in me by my own English Master – Mr Kenneth G. Doughlin – a fundamental educational mentor to me and an icon to all my peers that attended the same grammar school that I did, and whose wisdom I in turn employed within my own teaching career in relation to my own students: “It’s your life and you alone must be the ultimate arbiter of what exactly you do with it!”
Unsurprising therefore this poem is unreservedly dedicated to all those: secondary school pupils, undergraduate and postgraduate university students; those participating in adult or extracurricular educational studies, and the numerous others that over a period of several years I’ve either taught or lectured to; with particular reference and singular recognition to those in Hannover, Hamburg, Darmstadt and Laatzen Volkshochschule in Germany; the International School in Denmark; the Alexandra Girls Grammar School in Barbados; and of course educational institutions in England.
The good, bad and the indifferent among you – as I teasingly referred to you – but who I always knew would successfully morph into the resplendent and remarkable butterflies that delightedly, I’m quite happy to say, you’ve amazingly become.
So thank you all: my past and present charges, for the inspirational challenges individually and collectively, as well as in your own inimitable ways, that you’ve helped to instil in my teaching career enabling it to be the thoroughly rewarding success it has always been; and in my grateful appreciation too that so many of you freely and continually keep regularly in touch to personally update me on how you’re getting on in your everyday lives and also genuinely enquire about my own wellbeing.