Entrances and Exits

A dear friend of mine, the cameraman I've worked with for more years than I care to remember, has gone and retired. 

May I introduce - and humbly thank - Mr Adrian Francis, an absolute giant of the TV industry, hugely talented and experienced, one of the kindest people you'll ever meet, and a great loss to the BBC and broadcasting. 

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(Anyone who can work with me for years, live the adventures we did, and still keep smiling deserves respect by the truck load.) 

But here's a thing. 

Despite his popularity, and amazing career, Adie departed with a quiet leaving do; no grand speeches, just a few colleagues he holds close.

And that got me thinking about the entrances and exits of our times. 

It's tempting, when you're writing, or just living this thing called life, to go for the dramatic. 

You can smash in a door and shout and scream an arrival.

Or when you depart, you can go for the (far too often suffered) long and dull valedictory speech, waffling on about all that you've done and the lessons everyone can learn from your magnificence. 

Not for me. 

The problem with grand entrances and exits is that they're often distraction techniques, used to cover up for that rather important part in between. 

The substance. The heart, the soul of life. The stuff you've actually done. The people you've touched, the difference you've made. 

Let that speak for itself, in my view. Let that define how you're remembered. 

Actions, not words. Substance, not spin. Show, not tell.