The Thought for the Day – Gore Vidal

There is not much time for anyone, really. We must all move with such haste toward…our goals. – Gore Vidal, Lincoln

Lincoln is a historical novel from Vidal’s Narratives of Empire, a series of seven historical novels that chronical America from 1775 through 1950, though in the last one Vidal does visit the year 2000, where he makes an appearance as himself. Lincoln is told through the eyes of assorted figures of the era and tends to chronicle the day in, day out political and personal challenges Lincoln faces, instead of the battles of the Civil War. It is one hell of a book and comes with our highest possible recommendation. It was our introduction to Vidal, too, as mom and dad had the book in our home library.

There is not much time for anyone, really…

There is and there isn’t. On the one hand, the years are long and you look back to when McDonald’s didn’t have breakfast or you see your favorite singers looking like death warmed over, you realize you’ve been around a while.

On the other hand, our time on this planet is indeterminate. Unless the governor has signed a death warrant or we are going to take our own life, we have no idea when our time on this planet will end. We could have a long life ended by the maladies that attend old age, or we could be hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow. We don’t know, so in that context our time here is fleeting. 

We must all move with such haste toward…our goals

Haste does not necessarily mean rushing through things. We must not mistake being busy for attainment. However, with indeterminate time on this planet, we must move with some alacrity because if we dawdle, if we keep saying tomorrow, the next thing we know the years have turned to decades,  tomorrow still hasn’t come and our goals are still unreached.

We all have things we were put on this planet to do – teach, write, lead – the list is endless because we were all born with different talents and interests. These interests lead, naturally, to things we want to accomplish and those that get on in this life try to accomplish what nature compels them to do.

They try every day, too. Not some days and not others. Not three days a week and not the other four and not ten months out of the year instead of twelve. They do it every day until their indeterminate time on this planet ends. We must do it too, until we die. 

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Gaylon began stockpiling quotes in 1988.

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