Thought For The Day #4810 June 2015
Broadcast 10th of June 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol
The European Commission’s Director-General for Environment, Karl Falkenberg has an interesting cycling ritual. Every year he rides from Brussels to the European Green Capital. Which of course this year is Bristol. I’m impressed by Falkenberg’s fitness but I’m more impressed that he isn’t paid for it, he actually takes off holiday from work. You don’t see these kinds of genuine symbolic gestures in politics much.
What Falkenberg’s annual ritual says to me is that first and foremost he loves long cycle journeys. So much so that he doesn’t really mind where the destination is, it’s the adventure that matters. If there wasn’t a new Green Capital every year to visit I wouldn’t be surprised to find him blindly throwing a dart on a map to decide where to go. Outsourcing decision making like this reminds me of Goethe’s famous quote, “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” Though to be fair it’s just a fancier way of expressing Nike’s own version, “Just Do It”.
Anyone that understands these sentiments knows that it’s better to do something, even imperfectly, than it is to do nothing at all. We can worry, plan and discuss possible outcomes until the cows come home. But sometimes it’s only in the middle of the adventure itself that we have all the information we need to actually make an informed choice. Some say that flipping a coin isn’t good because of getting the definitive answer of heads or tails. But rather because, in the sudden panic of the coin spinning in mid air, we realise in our guts the answer we wanted all along.