This week, my usual time set aside in the morning for personal development has suffered… I keep watching the Kings Of Leon on my sky+ box recorded from their Glastonbury gig… They are so good and such a distraction…

Anyway, this morning, I got back into things and was sat sipping my espresso in the garden (taking away the taste of the freshly juiced shots of wheat grass) and reading some more of the autobiography by Sidney Poitier The Measure Of A Man. He is an extraordinary man.

Today, I simply want to share with you a rather frightening thing that his parents used to do to him as a baby that he believes set him up for much of life’s adversity…

As a lesson in survival, Sidney Poitier had to learn very young… Before he could even walk, his parents would toss him into the sea near their home in the Bahamas and just as he tired of thrashing around and could no longer keep his head above water, his father would scoop him up to safety.

Then they’d toss him in again.

Blimey… If and when Katie and I decide to have children, she may scream at me if I were to toss our child ito the sea on the Bournemouth coast where we live, since she doesn’t even very far without her wifi baby monitor since she got it online. I mean, I find paddling in it freezing… Though I am still not sure that the warmer waters of the Bahamas would incline me to deal out life’s lessons to my baby this way.

Pottier says he learned quickly, navigating unfamiliar environments, excelling where no-one else had. For his 1963 role in Lilies of the Field, Poitier became the first black man to win an Academy Award for best actor and he has many other firsts to his name — I find him to be an incredibly inspiring man.

Poitier is now 81 and many of his films offer some very poignant lessons…

In the Heat of the Night has an underlying theme of giving voice to your principles to increase others’ awareness… You may have noticed that I rather like that notion. 😉

In his award winning film Lilies of the Field, there is the theme of determining and living your life’s passion and in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, you learn to stand up for what you believe, even when it’s not popular.

Poitier picked his films carefully and is associated with many of these themes.

He is apparently asked often how he accomplished so many firsts with such grace during times of such change and against a great deal of adversity. And what he writes is what I wanted to leave you with his week:

We puny individuals have only 75, 80 or 96 years to look forward to, which is still a snap in the impenetrableness of time, so what we do is stay in the context of what is practical, what’s real, what dreams can be fashioned into reality, what values can send us to bed comfortably and make us courageous enough to face our end with character.”

Have a fabulous weekend… I’ll be back blazing the trail on Monday 🙂