As you know, I try to stay away from political
rants posts in the name of all things sane. My blood pressure can only take so much during the course of any one day. But I do look back sometimes, still wondering why I didn’t bite the law school bullet that called my name more than United Dairy Farmer’s Cookies-n-Cream milkshakes at the corner of 12th and High.
Politics, arguing, passion, winning, black and white laws, precedents, and ice cream – I should have gone.
Hands down, some of my most favorite people are lawyers (excluding the ones who keep the stereotype alive and well), and without question, my favorite President of all time was Teddy Roosevelt. Yep. If I was born about 110 years sooner, T.R. would have been mine.
To say that guy was interesting and brilliant is a complete understatement. He had an exuberant personality, scores of interests and accomplishments, and led the Progressive Movement. But wait. That’s not even close to being all. He won the Nobel Peace Prize when it still meant something to do so (I’m lookin’ at you, Barry) and attended Harvard, ingrained in his studies on his continued quest to do more.
While there, Teddy took up boxing – rivaling the giant right hook I’m imagining with a giant interest in naval affairs. His achievements as an author, hunter, explorer, and soldier were as much a part of his character as his political achievements – if not more. I’d go so far as to say his mind was only outmatched in leading troops into battle by that of Joshua. In fact, Teddy studied up on Joshua’s tactics in the Old Testament, proving yet again that my 1860’s born self would have stepped into any ring with that man….just speak softly, honey, and show me the rest of whatever it was you were saying…
Here’s what he said that I love the most: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
As we age, we begin to realize that we are perfectly happy and content without the things we thought we needed the most – even though we are much better positioned to obtain them. It’s not the “things” you can buy as a result of hard work; it’s the work in and of itself that matters. The work which makes you want to do more, become more, help more.
The circle of life is a beautiful irony to me. When you’re a kid, you have no idea what work really is, let alone work worth doing. Liv received her very first paycheck last night. I watched her open it, hiding my own anxious anticipation behind a slight knowing grin, and could not have scripted either her look or her response any better:
[Eyes wide, jaw slowly returning to normal position]: “Well that’s a bunch of bullshit.”
Welcome to life’s Grand Old Party, sweets.