I am now in my eighty third year and I am an “only child”. I have never married, I have never felt the need to be tied. I walked away from all family ties after my mother passed away in 1982 (my father having pre deceased her) even before this I had little contact with the family at large for a number of years (my choice).
It was made very plain to me at the age of six that I would be the only one, there would be no other siblings, so I had best understand I was to be my own man. My father was a professional soldier, and working hard to improve his position, my mother was a senior Civil Servant in the Foreign Office, so I grew up in a caring but very disciplined environment, this stood me in very good stead for later years: I lacked for nothing.
My father decided that I should, from the age of five, attend the nearest Army school where I received a very tough but very good early education. This was where I first began to realise that being an only had advantages, I did not have to side with, or defend siblings and I could do or not do as I wished, within reason. I very soon realised that I was master of my own destiny and I felt that my destiny was to be a leader.
At eight I was dispatched to prep school as a boarder and I enjoyed every minute of it. At ten I went to public school (this was at some sacrifice to my parents to whom I shall be eternally gratefull). This was a magic time for me – I adored school – there were no parents to chide you no family to offer a critique of your conduct etc, and as an only child I was able to be me. I made the most of school, I did not fag, indeed I offered violence to anybody who tried to make me (I am no man’s servant). I was captain of the Rugby 15 and in my senior year, Captain of School. I fully accept that so far this all sounds very arrogant and self-serving, but I can only say to anyone: “Please do not be a doormat and let people bully you, they will because as an only child they think you are inadequate. Show them you can do whatever they think they can do, lead do not follow”.
At 17 I joined the Army and there I stayed for 25 yrs reaching senior rank. I served all over the world. This is another bonus of being an only, you have no baggage so you can take advantage of the many opportunities that come along. Shortly after leaving the Army I felt that I needed to be challenged so I offered my services to an army in another country and was accepted due to my skills. I remained there for 10 yrs again gaining senior rank. I eventually returned to the UK and set up my own company and then sold it on.
I have to observe that many only children refuse to come to terms with what they are and feel that have been dealt a bad hand. You are what you make yourself. Life is for living, so grab it with both hands, and say to the world that: “I am the best because there is only one like me – no copies”. As for me I have got a lot more living to do yet and I shall enjoy them all because I am an ONLY CHILD.