Everyone has it within his power to say, this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow. – Louis L’Amour, The Walking Drum
Our introduction to L’Amour came in our 40’s. We had never bother to read him before because we had dismissed him as a hack Western writer. His books were, heck are, available everywhere and we figured our reading time could be better spent.
Our loss. Today’s quote is one of many from L’Amour that provides a simple, true and often ignored insight into our human experience.
Now, L’Amour will never be regarded as one of this country’s great writers. The critic who said L’Amour would have benefited from a freshman composition course was probably right. More than once we’ve found ourselves with not too much L’Amour book remaining and an awful lot of plot left to go and his characters have more than their share of luck, both good and bad.
No matter. L’Amour didn’t have a freshman composition course. L’Amour was a self-taught writer who spent most of his young adulthood scrambling and wandering and his insights into our Human Experience are brilliant, as good as anyone this language had produced, including Gore Vidal, and insights into our human experience are one of the things you pay us writers for. L’Amour was an excellent example of what a writer’s only job is: experience life and report our findings to our readers.
…this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow.
This is a power each one of us has. It may not seem like it sometimes because everyday life throws a hundred things our way to distract us from what we were meant to do. But if we are not happy with our lives today each of us can work toward want we want to be tomorrow. It’s something we tend to ignore sometimes, lost as we sometimes are in the cacophony of our own life.
It’s our greatest gift as humans, really, the ability to make something good happen for ourselves. We can squander our time on this planet or we can utilize our time and our talents and make something good happen for us. The choice, every day, is ours.