I was asked an excellent question this week, which made me stop and think, as the best questions do.
I've been invited to give a talk to a couple of hundred sixth formers, some of the brightest in the south west.
It's about journalism and writing, inspiration and aspiration, lessons for life, you know the kind of thing I often waffle on about.
I was sitting in my local pub, pondering what I would say, when one of the staff asked what I was doing.
I duly explained. The lady in question, who has repeated experience of me sitting there, gazing into space with a beer or two, as I think over various matters, then asked simply -
'Why do you do so much?'
It took a few seconds for me to think it through. But ultimately I told her it was down to the attitude I'd first noticed in myself at Xmas time as a boy.
When I was given a gift, I played with it. And I really mean played with it.
I used it relentlessly, wouldn't stop experimenting, trying it out, seeing what I could do with it.
And so goes my approach to life.
I do my best as a journalist, and writer, and teacher, and mentor, and father, and friend, and thinker, and member of society, and anything/everything else because...
They're all components of the wonderful gift we're so very fortunate to have been given.
It's the gift that I want to keep on playing with, exploring, experimenting with, improvising, seeing what it does, what it can do, until the thing finally wears out...
Making the most of the greatest gift -
The gift of life.