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Work Place Chaplaincy Scotland Blog

Giants' shoulders

Giants shoulders

How closely do you look at the coins in your pocket or purse? East of Scotland Regional Organiser Chic Lidstone was inspired by a £2 coin when considering his latest 'Workplace Word'. He shares these thoughts here:

Have you ever noticed the inscription on the side of a £2 coin? it says: 'Standing on the shoulders of giants'.
This comes from a letter written by Isaac Newton (of falling apples fame) to a fellow  scientist Robert Hooke, acknowledging the debt he owed to others. 'If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants'

We sometimes talk of all kinds of shoulders: hard shoulders,  shoulders to cry on, rubbing shoulders with someone, shoulders to the wheel, chips on shoulders, cold shoulders, and even old heads on young shoulders. But standing on shoulders,  what does that mean?

For me it speaks of people who have helped me to be what I am now by encouraging, teaching or simply believing, in me. They helped me stand tall and hopefully, walk reasonably straight! It may have been a hero, a relative, a teacher or  a colleague.We haven't got to where we are, or learned what we have learned on our own, it's their influence that has taught us and helped us  to see further.

Who do you know who has helped you, believed in you and encouraged you?  Who has cheered you on, saying: “You can do it!” Whose shoulders do you stand on?  If you can, maybe you could say thanks to them? If the moment has passed, could you ‘pass on’ that encouragement to someone else? If you struggle to think of someone for whom you could do that, just be yourself. Often that’s all it takes to start that positive move forward.

A book called the Message says: “Do you see what this means — all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these people cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running — and don’t  quit!”

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