What the Dickens?


Along with a colleague today, we took a small group of people from our office around the Hatton Garden and Smithfields area on a ‘Wellbeing Walk’ (as part of our Wellbeing Week activities). The walk had a Dickensian theme, with lots of fun facts about the area, and a good time was had by all.

One thing that came clear to me was that Dickens was a man with a passion for campaigning. He fought for justice in the ‘cruel and harsh’ magistrates courts that operated in the Hatton Garden area, fought to improve the lot of the poor children growing up in the slums around Saffron Hill, campaigned for public executions at Newgate Prison to be carried out behind the prison walls, contributed to the debate around the closure of Smithsfields Market (for live animal slaughter, anyway), and campaigned against the Yorkshire Schools (which he wrote about in Nicholas Nickleby). I suspect this was just scratching the surface of what he got up too.

It got me thinking that I really do need to be doing more in this regard. I must confess to feeling somewhat impotent at times; ‘why would anyone listen to me?’ But then, going back to my post recently about extreme ownership, is not the right attitude at all. It isn’t a case of why would anyone listen, it should be a case of ‘why aren’t you listening to me’? It’s an important realisation to make.