Reflections on my 32nd year ...

I celebrated my 31st birthday yesterday. My gift is a good life.

I have been trading letters with a young friend of mine. He is on vacation at Parris Island, South Carolina, all expenses covered and entertainment provided courtesy of the good people of the United States Marine Corps. He seems to be doing well. It has been somewhat reminiscent to hear his stories. They bring me back to my time there in 1996.

If I had to guess - he was anxious about going. I was. Most people are. In my life, any tendency to allow fear to drive my interaction with this world stems from a desire to be in control. I sent my friend a copy of one 1763 letter from Thomas Jefferson to his friend, Page. I thought the letter fitting and a good reminder of proper perspective. I will try to apply it better in my 32nd year in this life - and Cody would do well to remember it while a guest in South Carolina:

As you read this very moment, young Recruit Cody may be thinking to himself, "It is divine will that I am about to experience muscle failure and vomit all over myself. I feel better now."

Well, it works most of the time.

The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes, should be one of the principal studies and endeavors of our lives. The only method of doing this is to assume a perfect resignation to the Divine will, to consider that whatever does happen, must happen; and that, by our uneasiness, we cannot prevent the blow before it does fall, but we may add to its force after it has fallen. These considerations, and others such as these, may enable us in some measure to surmount the difficulties thrown in our way; to bear up with a tolerable degree of patience under this burthen of life; and to proceed with a pious and unshaken resignation ... Thomas Jefferson


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