“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
On this day in 1964 Ronald Reagan delivered a speech on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. The speech launched Reagan’s political career and came to be known as “A Time for Choosing.”
I miss Ronald Reagan. I lived and worked in DC during the last few years of the Reagan Administration. Those were some awesome times to be a young conservative in Washington. I was fortunate to hear the President speak on several occasions. One of my favorites was one year on my birthday at the Jefferson Memorial.
But, you may ask, how did I get here?
For that we go to a birthday-celebrating Republican.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.
American colonel, politician, Nobel Prize laureate, and 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, was born on this day in 1858. (died 1919).
I did not hear Mr. Roosevelt say that in person.
But, you know, he was right.
We spend much of our lives saying if only this or if only that. If only this person hadn’t done that to me. If only that person had given me a chance.
At the end of the day…which is a phrase I sort of hate no matter what the time of the day…but, at the end of the day, we’re all the product of our choices.
And honestly? That pisses me off sometimes.
I mean, let’s not review all of the things that I wish were different. But the sad reality is that they’re not different because of the choices I made, or didn’t make years ago.
Or maybe this morning, but let’s not go there.
I think if there’s any lesson that I wish that I could have learned in my youth it’s that actions, and choices, have consequences. Sometimes long-term consequences.
But, when you’re young and invincible that doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Oh, I know there are those that had their minds made up about a college major, a career, where they’d live, who they’d marry, and more by the time they left high school.
First of all, that wasn’t me. And second, it certainly doesn’t mean those people might not be wishing they’d made different choices.
Really, the past is only good for nostalgia and warm fuzzies. Well, that and for teaching life’s lessons.
I was only six when Ronald Reagan made that speech, so I’m not sure that it’s fair to look back and say that, at that point, I determined to do all that could be done.
But I’ve tried my best. Sometimes I’ve even made the right decisions. A few of them even great.
Regardless, what I have to do now is take what life has given me, along with what I’ve created for myself, and continue to try to do my best, to try to do all that can be done.
However, I readily admit that I can’t do it all. And I’m not supposed to.
I’m just supposed to do all that I can within the realm of my resources and abilities.
If you read my post yesterday (which you should have done), you may ask how I reconcile that with backing off from political involvement.
It’s simple really. I’m trying to do the best I can with what I have. Using my time and resources for political snarkery really isn’t productive. Instead I’m trying to make this world a little better place through writing and art.
I can’t fix the mess in Washington, or the mess in society. What I can do is determine how I’m going to live and navigate my way through all of the crap.
Maybe in doing so, I can spread a little love and light.
That sounds gushy and sort of 1970s-serindipitous-ish, but it’s really true.
All we can do is try to make the best possible choices and hope to share some light along the way.
There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, if more of us would do that and stop being @$$#0!3$, then maybe the world would be a better place.
I put it that way because yesterday morning people were flippin’ crazy. I’m just sayin.’
I’m not going to change those people either.
I just need to stay out of their way and avoid another type of rendezvous.
It’s Friday. I’ve got plans. I’ve got goals.
I’ve got a corkscrew and I’m not afraid to use it.
American singer-songwriter, Lee Greenwood, was born on this day in 1942. I met Lee Greenwood at a conference I planned at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville way back in 1988. Coincidentally, that was the same week that I met Minnie Pearl.