Thomas Jefferson, American Hero

I want to kick off this re-formatted “Seeking Wisdom” category here on RJsCorner with Thomas Jefferson.  He is one of my primary sources of wisdom. He was an idealistic rebel of his times. Even by his compatriots, he was considered a writer for the ages.  He was a young man when he was drafted to write the Declaration of Independence. Some believed him to be just too much of an idealist and too inexperienced to write it, but looking back that is exactly the type of person needed for the job then and maybe even more so now. 

He was a theoretical philosopher when many of his time didn’t really understand what that meant. Here is a little more about him from one of my favorite sources of his quotes:

Jefferson’s skill as a writer has accentuated many of his accomplishments. Partly because of his preference for style over a rigid adherence to rules of grammar, he was perhaps the most eloquent of all American writers…

Abraham Lincoln heavily drew upon Jefferson. The words, phrases, and philosophy of the Declaration of Independence have inspired those seeking equality for minorities and women, and most recently for oppressed Europeans seeking to shake off their Communist shackles.

From the introduction to the book: The Quotable Jefferson collected and edited by Jhon P. Kaminski 2006

When I am seeking wisdom, Thomas Jefferson is one of my primary sources.

Seeing Them For Who They Are…

For this “Seeking-Wisdom” post, I want to try and bust a few bubbles before diving into this category much further.

We all must recognize that the inspirational figures in our lives are for the most part like all of us in that they are multifaceted. They have characteristics beyond those that inspire us.  For instance, Thomas Jefferson is one of my top sources of seeking wisdom. Even today, 200+ years after they were written,  his writing and insight simply astound me!  But then there is the fact that he was a slaveholder who likely fathered several children from his “visits” to his slave quarters! Does that take away from his writings? In some ways, it has to but we need to realize that our heroes often lived in different times and standards. It’s not much of an excuse but… 

Then again, sometimes the history books just got it wrong for one reason or another. They say the history is written by the winners in all conflicts and the “truth” often reflects that fact. One of the primary examples of this is Christopher Columbus. It is now known that he was a money hungry bigotted tyrant who had no respect for the inhabitants he encountered.  In cases like this and possibly the southern Civil War “heroes” we need to disenfranchise ourselves from those who didn’t deserve it in the first place. 

To close these thoughts out, we need to see our heroes for who they are, not what we want them to be. Sometimes that is incredibly hard one for me to do.

Inspiration

I am still refining my new format for RJsCorner and that will probably be an on-going process for months to come. 🙂 When I first set up the weekly post categories I deemed Thursday as American Heroes but pretty quickly decided that was just too confining for what I intended.  After a couple of days of contemplation, I decided to make Thursday the day I post about the people and things that inspire me.   Being that I obsessively search for just the right phrase, I want to give you my definition of Inspiration.

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2018-11-12_10-01-01.pngSo, for this first Thursday Inspiration post, I give you Emmanuel Macron. I admit that I don’t know a lot about him yet but what I do knows makes me think that he is a world leader for the 21st century.  He is young (41) but appears to have wisdom beyond his years.  Maybe that is because he, like me, married a woman considerably older than him. 🙂

His recent interview on CNN’s GPS piqued my interest to learn more.  During that interview, he laid out his 5-year plan for bringing France into a leadership roll in EU and the world. I would highly encourage you to watch that interview. For those who don’t have the time to do that maybe my quick very edited transcript which will give you an idea of why he is inspiring to me.  Click here to see that.

I certainly hope that if and when the US falls out of dominance that EU will be ready to take up that mantle. This gives me hope that just might be the case.  But, I also hope that other young forward thinker like him will rise from the swamp of current American politics.  I am just tired of this country being run by old white men.

Here’s to you Emmanuel, viva la France.

The Best Doctor In The World…

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“Best doctor in the world is a veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what’s the matter. He’s just got to know.” – Will Rogers

This quote from Will came to mind recently while my wife was going to doctors trying to determine the cause of her recent ailments. In the last couple of months, she has had three emergency room visits, two of them by ambulance.  We were in the ER practically all day each time. They racked up over $14,000 in tests and billing for their time and still can’t determine the cause for her symptoms.  They just say “if it happens again, come back and we will try to figure it out.”

But at least the $14K bill was reduced to a little over $4,000 by Medicare with our out of pocket around $200.  Thank heaven for Medicare.  Maybe they will find what’s wrong the next time… but I’m not holding my breath. 🙂

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Don’t Take Life Too Serious…

slice1I think its time to pull one of the header quotes from Will for this post. “Do the best you can and don’t take life too serious.” I discovered this quote several years ago and practicing it has helped me cope with daily life. I don’t think I am unusual in taking my personal life too seriously.  If we were to concentrate on what our FaceBook friends say, we can become convinced that we are the only ones struggling. But once we realize that the FB media is a facade and doesn’t reflect any deeper meaning, we can dispell that make-believe “Ozzie and Harriet” view of the world.

There are a couple of adjuncts to this saying, one of them is that your life, for the most part, has little to do with any world situations. Except for voting and sometimes voicing your opinion to those that can affect change, what you do in your life doesn’t matter to anyone but you and your immediate family. So, just don’t get too serious about what goes on in the world.

Do the best you can where you can affect change and make your life better but don’t get too serious that world tensions are something you can personally do much about. The other adjunct is that you only live once in this world, the time you are living now is not a practice session. If you don’t make the most of it now you have lost any opportunity to do so later.

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Good Judgment

Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment Will Rogers

canstockphoto29834965.jpgIt’s time I put out a post on the new quote in the header above.  I think experience and wisdom often go hand in hand and as Will says learning from mistakes is a big part of it.  I personally think I can remember more details of the things I got wrong than the things I got right.

Due to my Aspie characteristics, I made a lot of social mistakes. Looking back I can see where opportunities were presented to me that I just wasn’t aware of at the time. People giving me hints that they wanted to have a relationship with me if I would only agree. I was a wimpy kid who simply couldn’t believe that anyone would be interested in me as a person.

Not standing up for myself was another place where I learned from my mistakes. I simply let too many people take advantage of my naivete.  Looking back I can see where I was a pretty gifted guy and quite a few people took credit for things I did. I just didn’t realize at the time it was happening.

My mistakes in the past have taught me the good judgment I now have.  It is not that I can go back and relive those times, but at least I try to use my current good judgment on today’s circumstances.  Maybe this is another example of  “Wisdom is wasted on the elderly”. I don’t know.

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