The Gromit

Excited, feeling slightly more important than normal, sat in Aardman’s Gromit Charity Sale “Gromit Unleashed” I was ready to buy a Gromit for the office, for the cause, but mainly for the fame and glory

Gromit Unleashed was the talk of the town – and why not – a great cause, fantastic gromits and limited places at the event.

What an idiot

Do you remember an event or moment where you felt so stupid, so small that the even the thought brings shame to your stomach?

I had hidden this one away in my memory. You may think there are far worse things I have done, or indeed anyone has done, than this – but there is something fundamental about this particular mistake that plays right at my heart.

I wasn’t being true to who I am.

Lesson: Be me

Sitting in the audience, the event streamed around the world. It felt like I had the golden ticket.

My name was on the bidding sheet. I had my a number and that made me more important than all the other plebs. I was important. I had made it.

Just wait until I return victorious to the hoards of fans who would exclaim “wow, you got a gromit”, “Jon, you are so big and powerful”.

I should make it clear, it is unlikely than anyone else sat in this audience was thinking this way. This world I had created was total fantasy and enabled me to escape from always being a ‘nobody’.

So the bidding started on the first Gromit. No, this wasn’t wasn’t a good enough design for me – I had carefully marked the ones that would be acceptable.

“£8,000”, “£12,000”, “15,000”, “20,000” – Oh shit. The numbers kept rising. Blood drained from parts of me I didn’t know had blood in them. I sank a few inches – inside and out.

Gromits and their auction prices

The immersive feeling of trying to be someone I am not overwhelmed me.

With each Gromit, the prices got higher. Who was it who said “true loneliness isn’t when your own your own but in a crowd”? Rather than enjoying the event and being thrilled for the charity, I left early, not fitting and feeling empty.

It wasn’t about being so very proud of my 10K budget, it was about my motivation.

This signposts a time in my life when I had a lot of priorities wrong and didn’t value the things that really mattered. I thank God that these lessons have shaped me and didn’t destroy all that I hold dear.

Principle: True You


  1. It takes a brave person to be themselves these days or maybe it has always been the case through human history. I enjoy social media but sometimes I find that because of it people (myself included) portray a different reality of who they are.. I always try and remember this quote by Dr Seuss to recalibrate my thoughts “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You”
    Anyways , funny post, great message. Thanks Jon.

  2. Penny Hynds

    Thanks Jon I love the vulnerability that the web domain and article shows. It is only as we are vulnerable and expose the real me (and I don’t mean in that way young man!) do we connect with others and we were made for connection. I look forward to other posts

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