In Cambridge, history seems to whisper from every wall, as I mentioned on social media this week. 

The post got quite a reaction, and I wonder if this is part of why. 

I was walking past the old Cavendish Labs, scene of some incredible scientific discoveries, when I heard this particular whisper. 


We're not (it said) owners of this amazing planet, nor even tenants, but custodians. 

The scientists who worked in the Cavendish Labs made incredible contributions to human existence - electronics, computing, the structure of DNA and so much more. 

They certainly did their bit.

But also passed on the widsom that the privilege of existence brings with it certain responsibilities to do likewise. 

Because we're not just custodians of the planet, but life itself. 

Part of the reason I left the BBC, where I was custodian of a very small part of its great empire, was because I sensed my time was coming to an end.

The new generation of journalists are internet first, techno whizzes, leaving ageing hacks like me way behind. 

But there's no bitterness or regret; it's quite the reverse. 

Because I had a wonderful career and believe I did my very best with my custodianship of it.

So why not leave on a high, with plenty of energy and enthusiasm for the next challenge? 

And so I move on to being a teacher and tutor, helping young people into fulfilling lives they may not otherwise have known, and writers to their dream of publication. 

Which will leave them as custodians themselves, ready to pass on those whispers of humility which are so important in our sometimes far too noisy, proud, and self-obsessed lives.