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You've got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Sunday January 18, 2015

On paper my husband is not the brightest spark. He left school with just one qualification – gardening. When I was talking to my daughter about the new Stephen Hawking film she asked me if he was the guy playing the Hobbit in the latest trilogy. He does not even know how to turn on a computer, yet alone use one and Midsomer Murders often confuses him.

If you were to judge him on just this information you would think that maybe he has a learning difficulty or that to quote an English saying he is "as thick as two short planks".

You would be wrong through.

He is a very intelligent, kind and thoughtful man. He has skills and talents that make him extremely popular and busy in our village.

Need a hedge cutting straight and level? he's your man (and all just by eye, no lines or levels). Need a tree felling in a difficult place? you know who to call. Need your chainsaw/mower/hedge trimmer repairing? give him a shout. Need a hedge laying in the traditional English way? he'll do it.

And he is not just good with his hands.

He has an amazing talent for listening to people. He would rather have his teeth extracted with a screwdriver than go to a social gathering but when he meets someone within half an hour he will know where they have come from, how many kids/grandkids they have, why they came here and what they do. He does not "pry" people just tell him things!

He has an encyclopedic knowledge of birds, fish and plants and I have yet to meet any dog or cat that does instantly adore him, he just has a way with animals.

I could go on, but you get the idea!

However like most of us (myself included) he is not very good at recognizing his good points. He often judges himself on what he cannot do, not on what he can. He reminds me of the phrase "If you judge a fish by its ability to ride a bicycle then it will always think it's stupid".

In the UK we are not very good at "bigging ourselves up", recognizing your strengths is seen as being arrogant and so we are constantly in danger of comparing ourselves unfavourably to others. But we are all different and have our own strengths and talents (yes even you!) and have something important to offer the world.

After all it would be a pretty strange world if we were all expert hedge layers and nothing else!

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 5:26am

What a lovely fond account of your husbands qualities. It reminds me of someone I know and you are so right, the abilities to listen, bring order to a garden and appreciate nature are gifts to others.

Hopeful One Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 7:16am

Hi Penny- thanks for that insight.For our part I think it helps if we remain as non judgmental as possible and we then see things for what they are like the good qualities you saw in your husband.This non judgmental attitude when applied to ourselves has the same effect.Yesterday, for no apparent reason, I felt down . Nothing seemed interesting or worth while. But I refrained from any judgement as to whether the down mood was good or bad.In due course as the day progressed I seemed to forget about it.I allowed it to be the temporary mental event that it was.

Anonymous Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 7:49am

I did so love the honest account of your husband. You are so right about the "on paper" thing too. Many of us leave school believing that results on paper are pretty much the only thing that counts. The immeasurable good about a person is far more valuable! And is a better set of skills for life, too. Empathy with others is needed in almost every situation and a love of nature is bound to help on the way to experiencing true happiness. As I get older, I find it's the little courtesies that really count and make my day, not the grand gestures.

Liz Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 10:07am

Thank you Penny for your absolutely lovely blog, your husband sounds like an angel. And all the comments/ replies as above are lovely too. Your husband Penny sounds like a gorgeous person, wish I lived in your village. It is people like your husband who cheer me up and make me feel better about myself. But you must be special too for seeing through him, and all his special qualities. So in my eyes you are both angels.
I try to instil in my children the need to be good people rather than strive and stress about academic qualifications.

Anonymous Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 3:58pm

Penny I loved reading this. Especially love the quote about the fish!! Brilliant! Haven't heard that before. Love from the room above the garage x.

Penny Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 4:59pm

Thanks Liz, I am sure I am no angel. Like my hubby I am very good at seeing the negatives about myself. I could write a long list of those but the list of my good qualities would a lot shorter!

Silvia A Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 5:06pm

Wonderful post!
"I could go on, but you get the idea!" I would love to hear more from him.
Yes, I know people like him. In fact, i have more pleasure and friendship with pople like him than with my arrogant peers.
It made me rememebre a scene. After the consultation with a female doctor, Iher father, also a doctor, showed me some plants of his and we begun to talk. She was so surprised, she said she didn't know this aspect of mine and how we both engaged in talking. I ma sorry for her who died young.I tried to be friends with her. I succeeded with her daughter, instead.
Like you, Penny, I tried to have a relationship with a man who does not read any book except of those of school, while I have much more than what is common in three different languages.
I tried and was very happy indeed. But for a long term, this relationship won't be ok, due his lack of other qualities, not intellectual ones. So I think I understand you.

And I agree with Liz last statement.
RATG, the quote about the fish is also known in Portuguese.

Penny Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 9:00pm

I am very fortunate in my hubby. We have been together 30 years (although it took 7 before he plucked up the courage to marry me). I am sorry that your relationship did not work out. He is my soul mate I hope you find yours soon.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Sun, Jan 18th 2015 @ 9:18pm

Lovely post; obviously lovely man.

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