Hellawell column.Last Friday I was at a board meeting of one of the companies of which I am a director, being held at the Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, when word came through about the latest attempts to bomb the commuters of London.
The news, totally incongruous with the beautiful surroundings of leafy Surrey, was of particular importance to us because we provide the power and lighting to London underground The London Underground is an underground railway system - also known as a rapid transit system - that serves a large part of Greater London, United Kingdom and some neighbouring areas. It is the world's oldest underground system, and is one of the longest in terms of route length. and many of the surface trains and stations.
We had been already been discussing the magnificent way in which our employees had responded to the events of the previous week and the lessons it had taught us for the anticipated future attacks.
However, none of us expected them to occur so soon. I know we all try and share the pain and suffering of those directly involved in such traumatic events but it is almost impossible to understand the fear and trepidation trepidation /trep·i·da·tion/ (trep?i-da´shun)
2. nervous anxiety and fear.trep´idant
1. An involuntary trembling or quivering. they engender in the minds of those who have to travel and work in areas directly targeted.
I note that representatives of the main rail union have expressed the fear of their members to the Mayor of London which is quite understandable but there are thousands of others whose livelihood puts them directly in the path of danger.
Our group of companies employs more than a thousand men and women in the capital each of whom have to be accounted for in such an event.
Fortunately, other than two who suffered minor blast and smoke injuries all our staff were unaffected physically, but what of their mental state?
The weapon of the terrorist is to play on our fears. The more they can unsettle ordinary people the closer they come to their goal.
Led by the Prime Minister, the majority of people in this country have declared their intention to be resolute in the path of such evil - but that is difficult when you know you face the possibility of death on a daily basis.
Many people reading this column will have demons in their own minds which undermine their confidence, and are detrimental to their health and their daily lives.
These may have been created by bullies in school or at work; they may be the result of noisy or abusive neighbours; they may have been raised by a traumatic experience on the roads or violence outside a pub or nightclub.
Whatever they are, they pale into insignificance in·sig·nif·i·cance
The quality or state of being insignificant.
Noun 1. insignificance - the quality of having little or no significance
unimportance - the quality of not being important or worthy of note when set against those of the poor souls who are at the centre of these terror attacks.
Whatever their resolve the more frequent they are the more difficult it will become to ignore them.
Putting aside the bravado bra·va·do
n. pl. bra·va·dos or bra·va·does
a. Defiant or swaggering behavior: strove to prevent our courage from turning into bravado.
b. , if we are being honest, I suspect we will all have a subconscious reluctance to visit London. Moreover, if we are thick skinned those we leave at home will and do worry for us while we are away.
If we must visit - as I have to on a regular basis - we will be more circumspect cir·cum·spect
Heedful of circumstances and potential consequences; prudent.
[Middle English, from Latin circumspectus, past participle of circumspicere, to take heed : about travelling on public transport, especially the tube.
Our fears, even if subliminal subliminal /sub·lim·i·nal/ (-lim´i-n'l) below the threshold of sensation or conscious awareness.
1. Below the threshold of conscious perception. Used of stimuli. , will take time to fade even though we are some distance from the centre of these terrible crimes.
But prepare yourself. What was perpetrated in London over the last two weeks is more than likely to occur in the other major centres of population in this country.