Yesterday I was on a plane travelling to Edinburgh. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but I simply love flying. Thankfully, I have never been such a frequent flyer that I have ever got close to despising the departure lounge and even if I ever do travel far more frequently in the future, I am pretty sure I will always love the pure thrill of boarding an aircraft and going somewhere else – the further the better!

Anyway, once the flight attendants came along the aisle, I purchased a cup of tea and carefully tore along the broken line at the top of the UHT milk packet. The last time I did this on a previous flight, I somehow managed to squirt the milk all over my trousers in such a way that it looked like a ‘white blood artery’ had been severed. This time, the milk mission was accomplished without casualty.

There was however, a small issue in the cup.

I tried in vain to extract a tiny speck of milk that was refusing to sink into the water. I used the wooden stirrer. I gently blew on it, hoping to achieve the dual task of cooling the tea down at the same time as forcing the speck to comply.

Pretty soon I gave up.

Now I know you have come to expect me to say things like “Never, never, never give up!”

But this time it was absolutely the right thing to do.

Why is that you may say?

Well, it is really very simple.

It didn’t matter.

I didn’t actually say at the time, “It doesn’t matter,” but that was what my decision represented more fully than I appreciated at the time.


Sometimes, things are far from perfect.

Even downright annoying, frustrating, and painful.

Most of the time however, it simply doesn’t matter as someone regularly reminds me.

Other things do matter of course.

We just need to know the difference between the two.

Is it a blot on our life, our world that we should passionately fight off?

Or is it a tiny speck at 30,000 feet?

Does it pollute what we are drinking or should we simply put the lid on and enjoy it anyway?




Paul Hatcher

I am at heart, a communicator. I love to use words, whether written or spoken and maximise those words to hopefully, bring some encouragement - literally, to put courage into the hearts & minds of those who read or hear them. In my work as an executive coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, I love also to listen...deeply, and then respond with some encouragement.