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Martine Wright on the value of relationships and 'The Things That Matter'

Relationships, self-belief and support for one another are the things that matter most to Martine Wright, who celebrates the "fantastic people that [want] to help...risking their own lives for others, to help others."

The third in a series of interviews with high-profile figures, Martine Wright - a Paralympian with the British women’s sitting volleyball team, who lost both her legs in the 7/7 London bombings - spoke to the Cathedral's Chancellor, Canon Mark Oakley.

In this interview on The Things That Matter, Martine talks about her experience of the bombing and how support from others enabled her to continue against such strong adversity. She asks us to always strive to achieve an ambitious vision of ourselves, and value the relationships we forge with one another as the key to human flourishing that enable us to learn "what is right in the world."

She remarks how her initial feelings following the attacks were that "my life is over...how am I going to carry on?”, but faced a turning point when she learned how many people had been killed and from that point "vowed that I would grab every opportunity...and have done lots of extraordinary things that I would never had done were it not for losing my legs."

When asked what really matters, she highlighted that "when something happens in your life that makes you reassess something, there is no question at all that what I treasured more - and what got me through the trauma - were the relationships I had with my family, my friends, health care professionals...my ‘Team Me’ is made up of all the people who have taken care of me and enabled me to get through the last nine years...given me the strength to carry on when I thought I couldn't."

Closing the interview, Canon Oakley says to Martine: "An ambassador for sport you are, but I think that you are really an ambassador for the human spirit - and for that, we want to thank you”.


The Things That Matter
It has been said that there is a ‘wisdom deficit’ in our society and a real search by people to find words that are trustworthy, authentic and energising.

In this series of short interviews, The Reverend Canon Mark Oakley asks respected people what they believe are the things that really matter in this life, the insights they have gained that they want to hand on to others - especially the young.

Canon Oakley says: "The poet TS Eliot famously asked ‘where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge, and where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’ In a culture shaped by adverts, PR-speak and the desire for quick clarity on everything, there is in many of us a real thirst for a deep and authentic wisdom that comes from distilled human experience. ‘Where can we place our trust?’ is an urgent question of our times. I hope this series might offer some insights from respected people and help lead us towards an answer.”

Previous interviews in the series, with Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon and television presenter Jon Snow, are also available.