Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

23 February 2024





The Monsignor continued – His Holiness was quite clear. He told us to show courage, to persevere with our goals, to be generous of spirit and, most importantly, to respect the dignity of others. In your dressing room and with your fellow players His Holiness tells you to show respect and not to take advantage of others. These are fine words. I try to incorporate them in my daily activities – to respect people and not to take advantage of them. There is a message for us all. I need team spirit in my Church and you need team spirit in your dressing room. Let’s meet again in two months and exchange notes on our respective progress”

The Monsignor had struck a chord – the No 5 heard the words about the importance of respecting “the dignity of others. In your dressing room and with your fellow players”. He was not thinking of any aspect of his character in particular and certainly not his past flirtations with other players’ partners. He just reflected on the conversation and the fact that the Monsignor has felt that the No 5 warranted attention from a person of the Monsignor’s rank in the Catholic Church.

On the one hand, the No 5 felt a sense of pride that the Monsignor had approached him but also wondered whether the Monsignor had an agenda – whether he had approached the No 5 with a particular thought in mind, even at the request of the Coach or the Chair

He wrestled with the conundrum. Could he approach the Monsignor and discuss his own character? – treat the Monsignor as a Counsellor and open up to him about his own weaknesses? Or was the better approach to think over the encounter and engage himself in a deep seated re-assessment of his own actions, his own strengths and weaknesses and his own moral compass? After all the Monsignor had to be a bury person with many calls on his time.

The No 5 decided that the issue lay with him and not the Monsignor. A nerve had been touched and the Cleric had pointed the No 5 in the right direction. It was now up to the No 5 to review and reflect and make changes where they were necessary.

But would the effect of the encounter last with the No 5 – did he have the moral strength to review the rights and wrongs of his life. He knew the Monsignor had provided a big hint, a key point of direction and it was now up to the No 5 to think things through. Time for assessment, analysis and review – and the outcome?

Ms Chair’s initiative worked. She had approached the Monsignor and he had lit the blue touch paper. But, in this instance, there was no explosion – just a period of reflection as the No 5 pieced together the parts of the jigsaw and in his case the pieces fell into place. The No 5 continued to be a personality and temptations were often encountered but, now at least, he had a compass and was better equipped to distinguish right from wrong and to improve himself as a person.

But the road ahead was rocky,

EPISODE 9  – The Chair; the Dressing Room; the No 5; The Conclusion.



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