In the wake of the Queen’s death, writer Belle Tindall reflects on how her passion and commitment is a lesson we can all carry into this new phase of history.
For my whole life (all twenty-five years of it), there’s been the Queen. I’ve never known this country, this world even, without her. And I had never really stopped to think about or acknowledge that, until now. And now that I have, I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. So – here I am, wondering what this little life of mine has learnt from her rather large one.
And sure, I know what you’re thinking – she was the Queen. As far as lives go, hers was a fairly specific one. And you’re right. It’s unlikely that I (or you) can relate to her on very many levels; We probably weren’t born into a given role or profession, it’s pretty unlikely that people bow when we enter a room, and I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t own any swans. The Queen’s life was unique in almost every way, it’s true. But we’d be wrong to think that the way she lived her life for something so much bigger than herself wasn’t something we could all relate to and learn from.
I can’t quite get my head around the Queen’s utterly unwavering commitment to her work.
I don’t know what your work-life looks like, but I do know that it has a ripple-effect to it. I don’t know who you regularly encounter, but I do know that they matter. I don’t know what your days consist of, but I do know that they’re full to the brim with purpose and opportunity.
You and the Queen have all three of those things completely in common.
I can’t quite get my head around the Queen’s utterly unwavering commitment to her work (I mean- seventy whole years in one job?! It’s mind-blowing). She relentlessly poured herself out for her country, her people, her calling. Whether she was in a ballroom with world leaders, or a community centre with primary school children, whether she was speaking to someone whose name was known by the whole world, or someone who was known by only a few - her commitment to those places and people was something I’ll never forget.
She’s taught us that it’s not about where we find ourselves, it’s about the impact that we can have while we’re there. So, whether you’re working to an audience of a thousand customers, a handful of colleagues, a couple of hyped-up toddlers, or a laptop and mug of cold coffee – it matters. It all matters. It’s all deserving of your passion and your commitment.
She’s taught us that it’s not about where we find ourselves, it’s about the impact that we can have while we’re there.
I’m not saying that some day you’ll be posting a letter with a little portrait of yourself stuck to the corner of it, but I am saying that there are resources inside you, and they’re too precious to be wasted or given up on. The importance of the Queen’s work was fuelled by the importance she saw in us. Her constant generosity with the magnificence of her life has shown me that there’s a magnificence to ours too. If the Queen has taught me anything, she’s taught me that.
Her commitment to you and I is something that we get to carry with us into this new phase of history. Let’s allow it to inspire us, let’s bring the same devoted passion to our very own work, let’s not grow tired of bringing our best-and-whole-selves to the world around us.
That kind of commitment is truly ground-breaking, our Queen was proof.