My dad would always encourage me to look up when I was a boy, always saying “you are missing so many beautiful buildings and so much history looking at your feet when waking through town” and he was right.
Being born in and living in Glasgow, I am, like my dad, very proud of this wonderful city and people. We have had the Commonwealth Games here over the last weeks, and the atmosphere at the events and in around the city has been amazing.
Travelling around to do my talks by foot, by bus or by train, you can’t help but notice so many people from around the world not only here to attend events, but to truly get to know the history of Glasgow; where we have been, where we are and where we are going. Everywhere you look, there are people with maps, guide books, taking photos, learning about the story of Glasgow.
I was at a bus stop in town this morning, a bus stop I wait at most days, and from across the street I could see three people with Glasgow 2014 shirts on taking a photo of a small plaque on a building and discussing it intensely. I have been at this same bus stop so many times but never noticed or thought to read this plaque, and it made me think of the time taken to find about Glasgow, its life story, its history, by those people visiting for the common wealth games and not just what they see.
I think there are so many lessons to be learnt here. There are so many people coming to visit this city to attend the Commonwealth Games but this is only half of the story. They are learning so much about the people, the history, the buildings, the heartbeat of the games – Glasgow and the people from Glasgow.
It got me thinking about care – if people took more time to learn about the people we meet when needing support, advice or care; their life story, where they have been, where they are and where we can support them to go, then I think we can truly help people.
One of the things I try to promote on my tour is the “Getting to Know Me” initiative. This is all about getting to know the whole person, not just the patient and the illness, and is the driving motivation behind a new, nationally developed resource to improve the experiences of vulnerable adults and their carers in acute hospital settings.
Judging by the smiles, the excitement and the conversations I have witnessed over the last week by so many people getting to know Glasgow, and the constant talk of legacy from major sporting events, getting to know all about everyone we care for would be a great legacy and I feel would help the smiles of so many over the last weeks continue for much longer on the faces of people we care for.