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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Naming names

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to name a plant after anyone we wanted to. Here are my choices.

Doctor Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Doctor Schweitzer was a physician, humanitarian, theologian and musician who started a hospital in Africa to treat African natives. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his efforts in the campaign against nuclear weapons. His philosophy in life was one of compassion towards all life, human and non-human species. He is amongst the greatest of role models. If I could name a plant after Doctor Schweitzer, it would be a Bamboo which, in China, is considered to be 'a gentleman with perfect virtues'. It has the perfect balance of grace and strength. To find out more about Doctor Albert Schweitzer, go here.

'At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us'. (Albert Schweitzer)

Sophia Magdalena Scholl (1921-1943)

Sophie Scholl was a young German student who, along with her brother Hans, was a member of a non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. The group, horrified at hearing accounts of soldiers' behaviour at the Front and of the mass killings of Jews, began to compose and distribute anti-war leaflets. Sophie and Hans were eventually caught distributing leaflets at the Univesity of Munich. Subsequently they, and other members of the group, were executed. Sophie was a member of the resistance group, The White Rose, but I would name a yellow rose after her. It signifies her last comment and, in floral terms, bears the meaning 'I care'.... which she certainly did. To learn more about Sophie Scholl, go here.

"Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go," she continued, "but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?" (Sophie Scholl just before her execution)

Christopher Reeve (1952-2004)

When the name Christopher Reeve is mentioned, the fictional character of Superman springs to mind. Christopher Reeve was not only Superman in the world of films but in real life also. After suffering a spinal cord injury during a horse-riding accident, he became a wonderful ambassador for the funding of stem cell research and he never lost hope that a cure would be found.
Of Christopher Reeve, UC Irvine said, "In the years following his injury, Christopher did more to promote research on spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders than any other person before or since." The two words that describe Christopher Reeve to me are dignity and hope, so his special flower would be the dahlia since that is what it signifies. The Superman colours of blue and red would be ideal, but I'm not sure that anyone has bred a dahlia with blue in it yet. :D To find out more about Christopher Reeve, go here.

"Don't give up. Don't lose hope. Don't sell out." (Christopher Reeve)

Jane Tomlinson (1964-2007

Jane Tomlinson was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1991. Amazingly, over the next six years, she went on to complete the London Marathon three times, the London Triathlon twice, The New York Marathon once and cycled across Europe and the United States. She raised £1.85 million for charity and since her death, the charity she founded has announced a new fundraising target of £5 million. I would name a gladiolus after Jane Tomlinson as this is the flower that symbolizes strength of character, which Jane had in abundance. To learn more about Jane Tomlinson, go here.

Thank goodness the world is full of good people and heroes! Who, apart from family members, would you like to name a flower after?


  1. all wonderful expressions of lives lived to fullest and best use! beautiful post!

  2. Thanks G. :) Lovely to see you!

  3. This is an absolutely beautiful post. Do you ever do blog carnivals? It would be a great entry in "Berry Go Round."

  4. Thank you Joy. :)

    I've never heard of blog carnivals, but I'll follow up your link to find out more.

  5. Hi thanks for the comment after the non-funeral day. I should have had fuckin' Steps singing "Tragedy". Only that could have made the day worse than it already was.
    Your talk of Sophie Scholl reminds me of a film my German teacher leant me, she called it "The Sisters" or "The German Sisters" but I don't think this was the proper title and it was, I'm pretty sure about Ulrike Meinhof or one of the others from that faction.
    One sister was in prison, the other free. When she came visiting the nearest they had to physical contact was pressing palms on opposite sides of a glass pane... I was just wondering whether you knew the film or who it was about. I tried Googling it and searched all over Youtube about a month ago, but found nothing...

  6. Hi Gled, I'll try to find out the name of the film for you. It was my daughter's German teacher who loaned me a film about Sophie Scholl..... German teachers are good like that. :)

  7. What a touching post, and I cannot think of a more perfect list! I might add Helen Keller and Mother Theresa. And Galileo.

    I am embarrassed to say I had never even heard of the Scholls. Thanks for letting me know about this extraordinary pair.

  8. Hi Ethelmae. I like your selection too.

    There's a very long list of people I'd like to add.... some more frivolous than others, e.g. Captain Jack Sparrow for being my favourite fictional character and Christiano Ronaldo... just for being gorgeous! :O)

    Don't be embarrassed Ethelmae. I hadn't heard about Sophie and Hans Scholl either until our daughter's German teacher told me about them just recently.

  9. What a wonderful collection of people Lesley!
    Pure human triumph over adversity and all the humbleness in the world with it.
    Truly inspiring.
    Fantastic post Lesley!