Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Andy Murray, BBC Sports Personality of the Year and Home

BBC Radio Scotland
Thought for the Day – Tuesday 17th December 2013
Dr. Amanullah De Sondy

I’ve just returned from America and sitting at Miami international airport, I watched live as Andy Murray was crowned BBC sports personality of the year.  Showing good humour at his lack of ability to appear excited as he accepted the coveted trophy from Martina Navratilova.  Andy explained why he could not be back in the UK to receive his award because his commitment to a strict training regime kept him in Miami.  But, he seemed genuinely touched and thankful to his home support.  And said later he’d pay back that support, by winning the forthcoming Australian open.  I found Murray’s speech thought provoking on issues of ‘home’.

My thoughts also wandered to our British troops abroad many of whom are not able to return back home for the holidays.  The Prime Minister yesterday met forces in Afghanistan, for what he’s said will be his last such meet and greet, for by this time next year all British forces should have left the country and returned home.

As a Muslim, I’ve grown up with Islamic traditions that mention home as a centering place, a place where one can contemplate, it’s a bit like Muslim prayer for me.  I think in some way we all need a refuge away from the hustle and bustle of the world that surrounds us, and so a place to reflect may bring us greater inner emotional and spiritual strength.  This could come from places we call home.

At the core of the issue is the ability for individuals to feel safe and secure in being or returning home.  Our thoughts might turn to all those who are unable to do so at this time of the year, especially those who are displaced from their homes.  I believe, that issues of home are deeply connected to matters of the heart.  The oft repeated saying, home is where the heart is – must resonate for so many.  And for all of those who find themselves away from home at this time of year, we should keep them in our hearts and minds.