“If all else goes wrong, get a dog,” – that was Rory’s advice to students as he gave the key note speech at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School’s prize giving.

Rory was invited to speak to students, parents and teachers about ‘resilience’ as the school celebrated a year of achievements.

He said that he didn’t have any great wisdom or insight to share on the subject of resilience but rather his experience in life has taught him that it every human is capable of the most astonishing resilience.

Using his experiences of commanding a compound under attack in Iraq, handling prison strikes and setting up the charity Turquoise Mountain in Afghanistan, Rory shared  four small insights into resilience:

1. Change your socks and open the door.
2. Jump into the middle of them.
3. Never be afraid to walk away.
4. If all else fails, get a dog.

The last part of advice was based on Rory’s walk in Afghanistan when his dog, Babur, saved his life.

After the ceremony, Rory said: “It was brilliant to visit Kirkby Stephen Grammar School and I’m very honoured that they invited me to give out the prizes. I very much enjoyed meeting the students and staff and hearing about the school’s achievements in the past year.

“As I said in my speech, there is no great wisdom or insight that I could share on the subject of resilience. My experience in life is that resilience is not rare, but in fact universal – and every Cumbrian, every human shows resilience throughout our complicated human lives.”

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