Wear a poppy and do yourself a favour

This year, the sales of poppies will be down, which is bad for the Royal British Legion but I suspect also bad for national morale. We wear poppies as a statement of our gratitude to those who gave for us in two world wars and subsequent conflicts, it is one of those acts that marks out our year and we wear poppies to say something about ourselves.

Much has been said of the heroism of the fallen – but at this time, when we are feeling sorry for our current predicament, we should remember that those soldiers that survived , came home to a threat more lethal than Covid-19, the Spanish flu . We have relatively little to complain about.

Wear a poppy for yourself!

I have found, as we move into the 9th month of Zoom and Teams meeting , that I am taking greater interest in how I look. Amusingly, I was speaking with my friend Con Keating who has recently regained some vision after a cataract operation. He said he’d been shocked to find he looked dreadful – for a man who hasn’t had a haircut since March, I think he looks pretty good!

But I, a knowingly bad dresser, have found myself wanting to wear cuff-links, a smart shirt, a decent watch and now a poppy. I want to wear these things for me – and if that sounds almost sacrilegious, of course I wear it for the fallen too.

It is just too easy to let my standards slip from slovenly to downright disreputable so when I got my hands on my poppy, I valued it as much if not more than ever before, even though I will probably be the only person who sees it!

And this is the thing…

In writing this blog, I’ve figured out something that’s been in the back of my mind for a few weeks, this pandemic is making us kind.

There is a thoughtfulness about people who I interact with which I find very touching, it’s there in that first question “how are you?” which is now a genuine request for information. Charitable giving over the past 8 months is through the roof.

So go out and buy yourself a poppy and wear it for yourself with pride; because you are telling yourself that you are that kinder person that lockdown’s made you.

And in understanding that, perhaps you’ll make the next few weeks and months a little better!


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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