The ancient Roman philosopher and statesman Lucius Seneca dedicated an entire series of letters to his friend Paulinus on the subject of the brevity of Life. The collection, in the modern era is sometimes called “On the Shortness of Life” or “On the Shortness of Time.”
In the collection, Seneca outlines the various ways in which we waste the only resource we truly command – time. But perhaps the most meaningful passage to me comes from his third letter:
Men do not suffer anyone to seize their estates, and they rush to stones and arms if there is even the slightest dispute about the limit of their lands, yet they allow others to trespass upon their life – nay, they even lead in those times who will eventually possess it. No one is found who is willing to distribute his money, yet among how many does each one of us distribute his life.
We give our time to football games that we watch alone in the privacy of our homes – to what end? We seldom spend more than a few seconds discussing the highlights with friends, but we’ve dedicated hours to the watching. We’ve done no self-improvement, we’ve done nothing to support, protect, or aid our fellow man.
We give our time (often as unpaid overtime) to our employers, when there is nothing returned to us except a moment on our death bed when we realize that we worked too much while we laughed and loved too little.
No one on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.’ – Arnold Zack, as quoted by Paul Tsongas in his Memoir “Heading Home”
Our time is the only resource we have – and we don’t know how much of it is available for us to use for ourselves and our families or offer to the world. It is such a small amount of time too! A man is only allotted about three score and ten years. Beyond that only the Creator grants additional time, and He can take us into the Celestial Lodge above at any moment before that. Would He approve of the ways we leveraged the use of our twenty-four-inch gauge during the time He permitted us to work in His quarries?
I’ve been asked many times in the past several weeks whether or not our withdrawal from Afghanistan has caused me any emotional distress.
I gave many years of my life to the United States’ failed attempts at nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, so it is probably natural that people might feel that I might be distressed, or need help. I don’t. For reasons which I won’t go into in this post, I have no problem with these failures. I pretty much can in all seriousness say: I have always seen this coming.
But there are many of my brothers and sisters in uniform, who gave so much more than I during the past many years who very well might need help.
For you, I would ask that if you’re feeling down, or alone, or depressed, or anything else negative about Afghanistan – don’t be part of the horrible Veteran Suicide statistic. Please.
Call and get help.
In November of 2017 I was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason at Scottsdale Lodge #43, F&AM, in Scottsdale (I know, obvious, right?), Arizona. For those who understand the following, these are the relevant items:
- I: October 19, 2017
- P: October 26, 2017
- R: November 9, 2017
Since then, in 2019 I became a 32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Mason, Royal Arch Mason, Cryptic Council Mason, and York Rite Knight Templar, as well as a Noble of the Ancient Accepted Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriner for short).
This post is a starting point for me to try and provide education, as much for myself as anyone else, about Masonry. There are things which are secret, which I will not discuss or reveal, but they are underwhelming at best, and some might even say silly (as my wife often does when she tries to figure out the modes of recognition). I’m sure I’ll make mistakes along the way. I’m sure someone will think I’ve revealed something I shouldn’t. Let’s just see where it all takes us.
To be clear, I do not speak for Freemasonry. No one does. The words I may say on this blog on the topic of Freemasonry are my own, or borrowed and attributed, but do not necessarily represent the opinions or truths of Freemasonry to any other person other than myself.
- October 19, 2017
- October 26, 2017
- November 9, 2017
Because of the circumstances of my raising, I delivered all of my long form examinations in Lodge on March 15, 2018. Beware the Ides of March!
You’re going to be paying attention to the media talking about Trump’s presser on crowd sizes and his comments at the CIA for the next several days. While you’re watching this – because the media wants you to be as convinced of his stupidity as they are – Trump is going to be moving forward with his agenda and no one will be paying attention.
Think about it.