Do you brighten the space you occupy?

This summer I have been listening to the audiobook ‘Life Beyond Measure‘ written and read by Sidney Poitier although, when I say ‘read’, I should really say ‘performed’ so brilliant is Poitier’s delivery.

Good actors have a wonderful talent of bringing the written word to life which is why I prefer to listen to, rather than read, books of this genre. Leslie Phillips’ autobiography ‘Hello‘ was infinitely better in the listening than the reading. Who can say ‘hello’ like Leslie Phillips let alone read ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ by Edward Lear like this?

Why Sidney Poitier? Well, he is from The Bahamas, a place I fell in love with several years ago, so I wanted to find out more about his life.

And what a life! Poitier’s early years were spent in a tiny paradise called Cat Island. So unspoilt was his childhood that he had not seen himself in a mirror until he moved to Nassau when he was ten. He had no idea what he looked like. What torture for an actor!

In his teens Poitier moved to America and, in 1963, won the Academy Award for Best Actor leaving him, today, as the oldest living recipient of that Oscar.

Poitier’s book is written in the form of letters to his great-grand-daughter. If a little sentimental at times, I think we can forgive that to an old man in his eighties.

He did use one sentence that lingers in the mind. Describing his half-sister Maude, he said ‘she brightens the space she occupies’. Isn’t that great?

I hope, one day, people will say I brighten the space I occupy.

How about you?

Do you brighten the space you occupy?

About Hugh Salmon

Business leader. Adman. Writer.
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