Yesterday’s post generated many personal responses that encourage me to offer a bit of clarification …
I am disappointed in society and the direction that dualism has taken us as a race. My disappointment is exacerbated by the abominable condition of politics in America. While every country on the planet faces its own issues, the American political system and the vitriolic discord within it – sadly abetted by national media – makes American society the more distasteful for it.
A simple case in point… As I watched the USA/England soccer match from Wembley Stadium in London yesterday, I noted how EVERY English player raised his voice and enthusiastically joined the 68,000 in attendance as they sang “God Save the Queen” regardless of everyone’s position on Brexit. In contrast, only a handful of American players dared to mumble the “Star Spangled Banner” when our national anthem was played. That disturbs me. I was humbled as I watched last summer’s World Cup when players and fans from around the world stood proudly behind their countries and their flags, singing their national anthems regardless of the situations their nations face or their success on the pitch.
My disappointment leads me to my own, internal Walden’s Pond where, like Henry David Thoreau, I can ‘check out’ far from the madding crowd and be at peace with myself and the natural world that surrounds me.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear … I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”
— Henry David Thoreau, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” in Walden
I received a supportive email from a friend. The subject line read, “Keep Going.” I smiled and looked to the bookcase on my left. In it is a book titled Keep Going. It is written by Joseph M. Marshall III, a Brulé Lakota, a historian, writer, teacher, and actor. I always remember him as Loved by the Buffalo in Steven Spielberg’s TNT mini-series “Into the West” that I have watched many times. Sub-titled “The Art of Perseverance,” Keep Going overflows with wisdom. One of many…
“Long Walker taught us that it is better to go until you cannot, which is better than quitting when you have the strength for one more step.”
That is good advice. My post does not suggest that I am quitting, only that I am ready to move on without regret when it is time. Until that time, I will keep going.