The Widdershins

November 22, 1963…

Posted on: November 22, 2013


Good afternoon Widdershin friends.  This afternoon’s post is woefully late since I’ve been in a mind-numbing seminar for the past two days.  The facility was advertised as having WiFi, but it was obviously powered by overworked hamsters.  Regrettably, one of the powering hamsters unexpectedly passed away Thursday morning and with it went the WiFi.  Finding a replacement WiFi up here in the hills isn’t easy — the only Starbuck’s up here are male deer out for a late evening stroll.

If you haven’t enjoyed Chat’s post from yesterday, please do.  It far out distances anything I offer today.

In addition to being the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, this week was the One-Hundred Fiftieth anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.  Those two-hundred-some words scribbled by President Lincoln and delivered in the rolling countryside were not crafted to become an oratorical masterpiece — they were the heartfelt offering of a man racked with the grief from a grotesque war.  But those words made history.

Much the same, President’s Kennedy’s trip to Dallas was meant to be nothing more than a political trip of a few hours duration, but that left turn onto Elm Street at Dealey Plaza has been forever frozen in time, seared into our collective memory.

Too often we hear events like these changed history, but you can’t change something that is yet to have happened.  Those events didn’t change history — they helped shaped history.  Both were mere men turned into indelible bookmarks by events not of their making, but just the same they came to shape history in ways never envisioned.

We never know what events are going to shape our world.  I’ve long believed our only chance to shape the world is in the choices we make and in turn, those choices are the only true manifestation of our philosophies.

If events can intersect the choices of people with cloistered lives like Lincoln or Kennedy, you can bet they can control ours.  The lesson offered is a simple one:  Make sure our choices always exemplify a philosophy of which we can be proud.

This is an open thread.


8 Responses to "November 22, 1963…"

Your post, as always, is well worth the wait.

@1 Ditto that! Love the point about making our own choices. I am trying harder to do that as I get older.

Interesting post, Prolix.

In a perfect world, good choices would result in good outcomes and thus lead to a better life for ourselves and others. Sadly, we know that doesn’t always happen. I think of making good choices as analogous to the Talmudic teaching that study of Torah for Torah’s sake, without expecting any reward in this world or the world to come, is the highest goal to which one can aspire. So make good choices for their own sake simply because it’s the right thing to do. The ultimate outcome of those choices is secondary and often completely beyond our control.

These words are so true and pure. For once I am envious to have the age that gives perspective. To remember JFK and the events 50 yrs ago, and the perspective of 50 yrs of living to see the impact still. JFK inspired people and for that I think he was a great leader and a great president. Thank you Prolix for these wonderful words.

@3: Correction: I should have written that the ultimate outcome of those choices is unpredictable, not secondary.

Good post and comments y’all.

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