How many of us paused yesterday at 11 am to remember the end of the war to end all wars- which as we all know, occurred on 11/11/18 at 11 am?
And if you didn't do it, why not?
Our Favourite Federal Judge, the honorable Richard Kopf, has a long vignette on his blog Hercules and The Umpire from a former federal DEA agent, now a private investigator. It's worth a read.
The agent speaks favorably about a tough cross examination from a defense attorney who used the old "you lie for a living don't you?" cross. Really? The effectiveness of that cross went out the door sometime in 1975. Is there any undercover agent on earth who doesn't respond "I lie when I'm undercover. I don't lie in court" or words to that effect?
In another post referencing a public incident where two lawyers in their 70's got into a fight at a country club, Judge Kopf wrote this gem:
"With age comes irrelevance. With irrelevance comes seething unfocused anger at the unfairness of it all. There is no known antidote. But, it helps to have grown up before you grow old. Too bad for me."
We've been thinking a lot about growing old(er) these days.
First, there is that recognized phenomenon that time appears to move faster as you age. Seasons fly by, and then years and then decades. It's disconcerting.
Second, and more troubling, is the recognition that you are running out of chances. If you fail in your 20's, 30's, or 40's, at either business or in your personal life, there still seems like plenty of time to try again. But when you are flying through your mid-50's or 60's, your next business venture, or your next romance seems like it could be your last, so you'd better choose wisely. It's added pressure when that's the last thing you need.
But with age comes experience, and with experience comes perspective, and that is such a good thing. Because once you have perspective, you make fewer mistakes.
In his famous commencement speech at Stanford, Steve Jobs had this to say about death:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something...
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Follow you heart. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
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