I sometimes consider writing a book to be called So You Think Your Life Was Wasted, because I think that fear haunts many of us, and it is a fear that I have come to know is unwarranted. But it’s one thing to know a thing intellectually, and another thing entirely to suddenly know it viscerally.
I got one of those cosmic dope-slaps today, and I have to laugh at myself, that the realization could have taken so long to sink in.
I had just finished writing my December column for The Echo World, a free-distribution monthly that circulates throughout central Virginia. In it I had quoted two phrases from Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address, and it occurred to me: Everybody knows “nothing to fear but fear itself,” but not everybody would know “This nation will endure as it has endured.”
And then the light went on, in three stages.
(1) Of course they wouldn’t. Few people have spent so much time reading history and biographies, as has been a great part of my life since I was 13 years old.
(2) I have often criticized myself for spending my life reading, rather than accomplishing something.
(3) Duh! Maybe reading was what I was here to do!
Obvious now, but it wasn’t obvious before the lightning struck. We’re all here leading our lives in ways that may or may not make sense to us, but chances are, we’re on mission. Worth remembering.