17. School Captain, No Less!

It may come as a surprise when I tell you I am a little introverted. I have always been shy and although I have learnt to overcome my desire to avoid people at all costs, I still feel most at home when I am at home. I can spend hours focussed on one man pursuits like reading, writing, playing music (with headphones on), studying, sermon prep, song writing and playing my guitar.

This is all rather puzzling when you consider that most of my life I have been involved in very public, up front activities. Performing at Christian Festivals at the Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena for instance and rubbing shoulders with numerous celebrities at various levels of fame and fortune. Then there were the many television and radio appearances both as a presenter and guest, again meeting VIP’s in their natural environment and often wondering how many of these famous people were actually wearing masks to cover up their personal struggles with fame, fortune and failure.

Quite a burden to carry.

Through my life I have spoken and performed to audiences from as few as twelve people in a village chapel to tens of thousands in stadiums, college campuses, theatres and through media outlets all over the world. I have also had a few writing jobs over the years, including a junior reporter on the Sheerness Times Guardian and a journalist for the Guildford Diocesan newspaper, which of course, involved meeting a lot of people to get the lowdown on interesting stories.

One of the most fascinating encounters I ever had was with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. You can read about this together with the life transforming encounter I had with the rickshaw pullers, in my other blog series, “Soapbox, The Untold Story” on this website.

So let’s get to the point of this post!

I was appointed by the headmaster of Sheerness Secondary School For Boys to be School Captain. I was 14 at the time and wore my shyness rather well at school, so not sure how I got into this position!

I ended up in charge of a team of Prefects who patrolled the boundary line on the school field between the girls and boys schools, stood ‘guard’ in school corridors during lesson changeovers and breaks, and generally stepped in to prevent any “aggro” between pupils which could happen at any time!

I had to report to the Headmaster’s Office most mornings to check on my responsibilities for the day, which often included giving out notices and reading the Bible at school assemblies. Little did I know…

I became a target

Of course, being School Captain or Head Boy as the post was sometimes called, meant that I became a target for the bullies in school, of which there were a few. You know, the kind of boys who need to have admiring followers to brush up their ego and make themselves feel important and powerful. Actually, bullying is a sign of weakness, not strength.

Going home time was the most hazardous for me when the school bully would wait outside the gate to intimidate other boys, threatening to “beat them up” at the slightest provocation – or actually no provocation at all. This, a sign of their own inferiority complex and insecurity sometimes had the effect of causing a lot of stress for the vulnerable.

I wonder where they are now?

About Steve Flashman

Steve Flashman is a singer/songwriter, published author and has appeared on TV many times over the years. He toured extensively as a professional musician and set-up a Short Term Service Charity which worked in some of the poorest areas of the world. He is currently living in Buckinghamshire UK with his wife Sarah and is Vicar of two rural parish churches.

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