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You, third from the left, 2nd row. Your collar needs sorting – in or out

– you decide – but not one of each, please. Is that a ladder in your

tights? Oh, and I also suspect that one of your ear lobes hangs lower

than the other. Hmm, I don’t suppose you could fix that. No, didn’t

think so. Today my purpose is to convince you of the critical need for

care, order and attention to detail. I’m serious. This matters!

A survey shows that the majority of people in the United States

feel stressed or anxious about the amount of clutter in their house. A

shocking 91% say they are overwhelmed by it from time to time and

most say they won’t invite people over when they feel their house is

cluttered. Don’t be overwhelmed by it, simply never let it happen in

the first place. Items that are not required should be jettisoned from

your life. Necessary artefacts should be stored carefully in an orderly

way in keeping with an established system. Dewey, you know library

man, Dewey decimal system, he was a genius but something simpler

will probably suffice if you are just a novice at this order thing.

Author and philosopher, Edmund Burke, told us that ‘Good

order is the foundation of all great things’. I’m still working on

getting to the great things, but those of you who know me will all

agree that I have the good order part well and truly under control. I

invite you to give up your lives of disarray and chaos and come join

me on planet ‘sorted’. On this particular planet, there are some rules

as fundamental as any devised by physicists. Symmetry is essential.

Colours may not clash. There is always a beginning, a middle and an

end. ‘To be continued’ is simply an unacceptable writing strategy .

Oh order is a lovely thing, on disarray it lays its wings, teaching

simplicity to sing.

In your school work, it matters. The study timetable, if completed

correctly can be a thing of both beauty and usefulness. The study

notes, a haven of structure and simplicity. After all, order and

simplicity are the first steps toward mastery of a subject. In your

school environment it matters. Your locker or mine? I know you

wouldn’t miss the mould, the ants, the smell if you traded up.

Why, why does this matter so? Well, from my perspective the

imposition of order on all corners of life, is well, simply normal. So

much distress (mine in particular) and chaos could be avoided if you

all adopted a little more care and imposed a little more discipline on

your unruly lives. I’ve been brought up knowing,‘that if you shut the

cupboard door the room is half tidy.’ No one famous said that, that

Oh, Order Is A

Lovely Thing

Florrie McKay

Orator of the Year

Highly Commended