Monday, May 28, 2012

Good work

"Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

Photo via Arlington National Cemetery


Most people will recognize that from the movie, "The Princess Bride" and for those who don't, PLEASE go check it out. It may not be a life changing film upon which your whole philosophy of life pivots, but you should watch it anyway, so you know what people are talking about when they quote from it for the entire rest of your natural life. 


There are one thousand and fourteen things swirling around in my personal ether these days and this particular line feels apropos. Today is Memorial Day, and we're thinking about and honoring those who've sacrificed everything for our freedoms and the freedoms of people all over the world. 


The men and women who've offered up the highest price for the human "Us" live their every day lives on a battle field where their call to action is to do good work, try to sleep well each night, and understand that on some level, there is a risk that they'll be killed in the morning. And they do it:  quietly, honorably, with dignity and integrity.  


People around me, and around you, live in situations that test their endurance and try their patience. Battlefields aren't across oceans. Some of them are located at our very addresses and we wake each morning hoping to do good work for ourselves and each other. At the same time, I think a very many of us live with the specter of possibly being killed each morning by what our lives present to us. Of course, I mean metaphorically (mostly). 


Being part of a human squadron is difficult. It takes guts, dedication and a commitment to honor and sincerity. It doesn't mean that we never fall down or fail; that our path is perfect or that we always maintain a level of righteousness above reproach. What it does mean is that we aim to stay true and fulfill our promises and obligations to those around us. 


It means we do good work, sleep well and know that even though we might be killed in the morning, we get up and try anyway. We ask it of our warriors every day in a million different ways; we should ask it of ourselves as well.

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