The Thought for the Day – Captain Peacock

One struggles, one does one’s best, one fails, frequently, occasionally one succeeds then finally, after a long journey, one arrives. – Captain Peacock


Sometimes you know when you are going come across something worthwhile and sometimes you do not. For example, when you settle in to read something substantive by a thoughtful writer, you’re not surprised when you read something profound. Sometimes, though, profound is found in other places.

Captain Peacock is a character on a funny, old British TV show called Are You Being Served, and we think this feature has established sufficient credentials with you to allow us to quote a TV show. If this line had been written in another context it might well be living down the ages.

The Captain, whose service in War II for Her Majesty was in Africa but is otherwise rather vague, is a floorwalker in the men’s and women’s departments of a moderately successful London department store. Today’s Thought was funny because it was offered in the context of Captain Peacock, after a quarter-century’s service, being granted the privilege of the executive dining room. He utters it after sitting down at the table of his boss, the mostly useless though thoroughly well meaning Mr Rumbold.

Today’s Thought is a pretty good description of success.

One struggles, one does one’s best…

Very little, if anything, that is worthwhile is easy. The winding stair that leads to where you want to go is steep and is generally many stories high. It takes your very best to climb every one. It takes it every day, too. Your best one day and not the next will get you to your destination. 

…occasionally one succeeds…

Like you, we’ve had some attainments over the years, some modest, some significant. We’ve had a lot more setbacks, reverses and outright failures, however. Every successful person does; no one goes straight to the medal stand. It’s the way the world is built, and you can’t let the failures that attend great effort deter you.

…then finally, after a long journey, one arrives.

Unless tragedy strikes, most of will enjoy a long life and a useful lesson is that good things take time. Anyone who pursues their life with diligence and courage and who is patient to achieve their desired end will, after a suitable journey, arrive at their destination.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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