A wise man once told me that all solutions to your problems are often hidden in plain sight.
The same man also told me we are often the architects of our own demise and only upon reflection does one realize the opportunity lost by failing to see what simply ‘is’ and the undeniable beauty of simplicity and honesty.
As I dwell upon this wisdom I think of Quade Cooper and a certain novel by Richard Llewellyn titled How Green Was My Valley.
Set in the coal mining valleys of Victorian Wales, Llewellyn narrates the retrospective and reflective life of a young of Huw Morgan.
The story welcomes the reader to the warmth of community in a small Welsh village and the importance of family that is mortared by the underlying hardships of a coal mining life. Yet the Morgans were a happy family for a time.
Young Huw is blessed with an academic ability, yet this ability does not shield him from the hurt, pain and confusion suffered at the loss of his father and one his brothers to mining accidents.
Eventually the remainder of the Morgan family dies or moves away from ‘their’ valley, including Huw who sought happiness and his fortune elsewhere but never really found it.
On this current tour of Europe, the Wallabies and Quade Cooper find themselves on the opposite sides of the world and rugby divide. Cooper has all but announced his departure from valley of the Australian Rugby Union to seek his worth elsewhere.
Like young Morgan, Cooper is blessed with talent yet, unlike Morgan, there really is no tragedy within the Wallaby family to force such a move.
The tragedy is the behaviour of Cooper himself and near contempt for the valley that has kept him.
While one always feels for young Huw Morgan due to his loss one can’t really feel for Quade as he packs his bags for ‘Quadeville’ where it’s all about ‘me’.
There simply are no victims getting paid $400,000 a season plus bonuses to do what they love. The man has lost all perspective of what Australian rugby has done for him.
As a young man he was offered a rugby scholarships to arguably one of Australia’s most prestigious private schools in Churchie. Queensland has taken him in and nurtured him. Worked with him through injury and a number of off field indiscretions. Guided him like a village elder willing to persist as he is now part of that family. Yet Quade is willing to walk.
To where Quade Cooper ever finds himself in the world, the boxing ring; French rugby; the New Zealand bobsleigh team or Dancing With The Stars, I think his decision to walk out on Queensland and Australian rugby will be one he will regret for the rest of his life.
He will lose credibility which is the virginity of the marketing world. Once it’s gone, you don’t get it back. It has been close to his poorest performance on or off the field managed, with the transparency of a 1980’s Gold Coast property deal.
The answer to his problems are really quite simple. Stay and prove your worth. Show the faithful some honesty. Opt for a simple life dedicated to getting the best out of yourself for the benefit of others. All the wealth you will ever need will come as a result.
However I fear, like young Huw Morgan, Quade Cooper will not realize until he is in the twilight of his life, when he thinks back on his brief time in Queensland and Australian rugby and reflect, How Green Was My Valley.