A few years ago (and perhaps currently – I’m not sure – I don’t tend to keep hot tabs on national advertising campaigns) the telecoms company O2 had their slogan as “Be More Dog”. The idea was that you, dear reader, are living your life as a lazy and lethargic cat, and instead you should chase life like it’s the back of a bin lorry and throw enthusiasm into everything that you do – like a dog – and all through the simple medium of their nicely packaged payment plan. When I think about Tim Peters and the impression he left on me, the phrase that jumped into the forefront of my mind through the fog of grief was “Be More Tim”.
Tim seemed to vibrate on a higher frequency than I did – tuned into a host of potential possibilities for enjoyment that wouldn’t occur to me unless highly caffeinated. Tim was running, jumping, climbing trees and cliff faces while I was yet to realise that grasping at every strand of enjoyment in life was most definitely the way forward. Nobody else I know was simultaneously as level headed and also completely nuts as Tim. Where Tim was focussed and driven, I was ambivalently apathetic. Where he was wise and knowledgeable, I was barely understanding how much there was to know and how much I knew that I would never know. He was patient where I was erratic, kind where I was abrasive, quick with a joke where I was slow with an insult, and he knew the best places to hide a honeydew melon in Martin Chan’s bedroom.
I honestly think that Tim was one of my best friends. Not in the sense that “best friends” usually means, as I’d actually not seen him much after graduation. A smattering of weddings and birthdays here, a group lunch there. Perhaps to my fault, but as we all know, friends do drift. But Tim can be described as one of my best friends not in the sense of closeness, though obviously I loved him immensely, but in the sense that Tim Peters is supremely one of the best human beings I have ever known. If all of us were to become lights on a Christmas tree, then Tim would be one of the ones near the top, blazing away and putting the star to shame, while I tried my best to be the glint on a bauble that you can see if you squint and tilt your head the right way. Were I to ask myself the question of “who could do this better than me?” Tim Peters would be quite a solid answer for most things in life.
I think if, from the moment that I had met him back in 2007, I had attempted to emulate his endless love for everyone, his hunger for joy, and his warmth, kindness, and excellence as a friend, then perhaps my life would have taken a drastic upswing into a beautifully positive mindset that saw the best in the face of whatever he encountered. While Tim and I may have parted opinion on the issue of faith, I do feel as if he would certainly want me to say that the reason that Tim appeared super-human to me is because of his deep desire himself to emulate Christ, and all the great things I saw in him were only Tim’s expression and outworking of his beliefs. This, if nothing else, is but another facet of Tim that I’m sure many of you who knew him wish to re-create in yourselves. As it is, we are now left with only these memories of Tim, and a blaring wake-up call to desire more, give all, love forever, and smile that Tim Peters smile as much as we can. To be more Tim.