When the mob comes for me and demands I account for myself I’ll hold up a giant mirror and demand they cease and desist.
I won’t be like some over indulged oompa loopa colored tyrant with bad hair who pretends that the crowd doesn’t know the emperor has no clothes.
When they see their reflection and read the wise words below they’ll stop and reconsider. Reason will beat hate and logic will take control.
Ok, let’s be honest there aren’t any mobs coming for me and even if there were the chances of people listening and hearing the words of one Teddy Roosevelt are slim.
People hear and see what they want to see or as Simon and Garfunkel once sang a man hears what he wants to hear. And disregards the rest.
Some might even say that last line describes me and if they did, well I would agree.
A Conversation About Things That Matter
If you gained access to the inner sanctum and heard me speaking with my children you’d see me try and take advantage of the teaching moments that crop up during the day.
You’d hear me use the Roosevelt quote above and talk about the importance of taking action and not watching life pass you by.
I’d say it is important to take chances and risk making mistakes but to be aware. I’d say the people who say they don’t make mistakes are liars and that it is part of life.
Since my kids are old enough to have more sophisticated conversations we’d spend some time talking about levels and nuance.
It is one thing to take a more challenging math class and another to try to jump from the roof of one apartment building to another.
Why Do We Listen To The Words Of The Dead?
The answer is they illustrate the connection between the past and the present. They prove that some traits and characteristics of people have always existed and always will.
We can take their wisdom and apply it to our lives today.
There will always be people who think they know better than we do. There will always be critics and it is up to us to determine whether to listen or to ignore.
That is the real trick of life, figuring out when it makes sense to go your own way and when it doesn’t.
You may not always need or want to do what the crowd is doing but you need to be aware enough to figure out what is going on so that you can make informed decisions.
Or at least feel like you did the best you could based upon the limited information you had.
Life is one hell of a ride, might as well enjoy it.