Wednesday, October 08, 2008

78 and still loads to do .....

Amidst the gloom, despondency and pessimism in the business world at the moment I was absolutely thrilled yesterday to talk once more to my academic supervisor and life guru Professor George Giarchi from the University of Plymouth who I have mentioned many times on this Blog.

George tells me he has made a decision to stop working as Professor in Social Care at the University in 2010. He will work to July 2010 on his current contract of two and a half days per week. He will be 80 years old in November 2010 and so he feels it is time to call it a day in his academic career.

He tells me he now has a degenerative eye disease which means one day he will not be able to read - which is heartbreaking for him as a veracious reader of all things. George already has plans to overcome that ‘minor problem’ as he sees it.

When I told him I could not imagine him ‘putting his feet up’ he quickly told me of his ambitious plans for a new project, returning to an old love of wood turning which he has not been able to do seriously since he was in his 30’s.

So what the point of this posting I hear you say …

Well apart from this being a good news story I think George is simply a wonderful man and a gifted mentor. A perfect role model who is loved by probably thousand of students …. He is just a very nice man.

Whilst talking to him I suggested – tongue in cheek - that his vast experience of ethical issues in health and social care would be brilliant if he were to write a book on ethics in business - particularly given the current state of the world of finance. George’s infectious enthusiasm was immediate and he started to talk excitedly about the possibilities …… Watch this space….

Who said 80 was old?

God bless you always George!


J.KANNAN said...

Dear Trevor,

I am pretty impressed the way you have kept your Life Guru, in such a high esteem and respect.

80 is not at all old-Its pure Gold-and I pray Jesus, Mr. George Giarchi lives to attain 100 to celebrate his birth centenary by thousands of his students. It is indeed great to note that Mr. George was so determined and dedicated in teaching thousands and thousands of students at University of Plymouth, particularly on a subject that needs lots of preference, priority and attention keeping in mind the global scenario/circumstances on social issues.

In a way it is sad to know that Mr. George Giarchi is planning to call it a day in his academic profession, benefiting numerous students. The other thing most satisfying and encouraging is that he is going to engage and dedicate himself to writings on “Business Ethics” (my most favorite topic), as suggested by you. It’s a brilliant suggestion from you and welcome acceptance by Mr. George.

Don’t worry, his degenerating eye disease will get cured and that will not come in the way of his assignments and mission.

Trevor, you are really blessed ones amongst few to have a Life Guru like Mr. George. There is a saying in Indian Mythology (in Tamil) and I shall translate same in English for the benefit of”Smplicity” readers and it goes like this:-

“Without the grace and blessings of a Guru (Master), one cannot be bestowed with grace and blessings of God(As God send these through a Guru- one has to believe it, accept it in right spirit and perspective and live up to this truth.

May God’s Grace and Blessings be showered upon Mr. George to maintain a robust health for the benefit of many in as much as, his services and contributions are yet needed for the welfare and well-being


Trevor Gay said...

Fantastic comment - thank you so much JK.

Another of George's great qualities of George is amazing humility.

Anonymous said...

Your post about Professor Giarchi made me think of a couple of things, Trevor. I remembered learning that James Joyce also had a degenerative eye disease and by the time he wrote Ulysses he was almost blind. He had to write one word per page in very large script just so he could see it. Yet, he overcame this burden and created one of the enduring classics of the English language. That goes to show that accomplishments are much more about the mind and the spirit than about the body.

Your mention of the gloom and despair of the current economic mess reminded me that my wife and I are undertaking all the wrong moves at this time--and loving it. We are buying a new house, selling a house, cashing out our investment portfolio (what's left of it) and investing it in other venues, and I'm changing jobs. All at exactly the wrong time, but we are sure we are making the right decisions despite the gloom and despair. Again--life is about the spirit and the mind, not the external factors we usually allow to control us.

I plan to start my third or fourth career at 78!

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Mike and thanks for the encouraging words about coping with limited vision. I know George will find ways to enjoy the written word. James Joyce – Wow!! – What a hero!

I agree with you one thousand per cent about the alleged crisis we are going through. I’m sure the best way to cope is to have a positive mindset. I’ve written on Tom Peters Blog about this recently (I am in a great minority there as usual … but why change the habit of a lifetime I say)

I simply say the gloom and despair will not change things for people. Our mindset can change how we feel about it – I see opportunities rather than threats in this alleged crisis.

You and Keiko are definitely doing the right thing at the right time because now is when it suits you. I recognise the feelings of excitement in dealing with your new challenges having changed my life dramatically four years ago. I wish you the very best in the new job and the new home my friend – you deserve to succeed and I know you will!

BTW - I still intend to be Captain of my own 5-a-side football (soccer) team for 100 year olds and I have you lined up as one of my five!

Anonymous said...


What a terrific story! How fortunate you are to have shared the wisdom, guidance, and friendship of Professor Giarchi over the years! I'm sure he feels blessed to have a mentee as caring and terrific as you as well. As one doesn't get a mulligan in the game of life, Professor Giarchi's attitude, energy, and work ethic are a great example of doing it the right way. Thanks for the great story and I'm looking forward to reading the book. I've heard of these things called Ethics but haven't seen much of them lately.

Marilyn Jess said...

Dear Trevor and JK,

Many thanks for this wonderful and inspiring post about your guru. I have a guru, and thanks to JK I am sending her the translation of the Tamil saying. She is well past 'retirement' age, and is working as a volunteer on a mission in Africa.

Ethics--certainly in short supply, in certain business circles. Professor Giarchi's book couldn't come at a better time.

When you are ready to move forward--perfect time to start anything, regardless of the naysayers. You will still be XXX years older, whether you do or you don't.

Please note my new blog address--will post again soon.

Trevor Gay said...

Thank you Marilyn - you are soooooooooooooo right!

J.KANNAN said...

Dear Merilyn,

Thank you very much for your encouraging and supportive words.I only wish all those people blessed with Gurus follow the right principles of "Respect & Ethics" for their Gurus as well the Society they live in.

You will find more interesting readings on various topics in my blog "http://jaykayram.blogspot.comso far visited by over 40000 readers.

Best Regards.