I’ve been toying with this concept for a few years now, trying to decide how to share some important moments in my life to try and help others, to say thanks, but most importantly to give a little back.
I thought about writing a book. Went off the idea!
I needed to steer clear of the self-help genre, which I feel is formulaic and repetitive.
My wife Julia’s mum, Mary Snow, used to say, “On days where you are so low that you can’t face getting out of bed, just make the effort to go outside and smile at a granny.” This has always resonated with me. Not intending to make light of anxiety and depression, this little booster always worked for me.
My philosophy has always been to get out there, introduce myself and make the luck happen.
To take chances on people, pluck up the courage, get myself into the right places at (occasionally) the right times.
This was extremely difficult at the start as I was shy, unqualified, but raring to go at the age of 17 when I left home for the big city of Edinburgh.
Tried college for 3 months. Got a job as a publicity assistant in a theatre. Joined a Glasgow folk band. Started shooting theatre and dance companies. Became the music photographer for The List magazine. All by the age of 19.
Looking back, it wasn’t just the new found courage I’d conjured up that was opening doors for me, it was the kindness of many others who I met along the way, giving me a leg up, words of encouragement, giving me a go when I said I could do it, be that with my photography, design, stage management and even a wee spot of acting.
I love The Waterboys song ‘Somebody Might Wave Back’ where Mike Scott sings “What do I have to lose, somebody might wave back”.
On hearing this song again recently, I’ve realised that waving is what I’ve been doing all this time.
Trusting that people will wave back.
I have set up this project to help share inspirational stories of courage and show to those starting out that it is possible to make your life matter and that you can potentially change the world for the better, if only just a wee bit.
Colin Usher, Nérac, France