Monday, March 15, 2010

Worn out for a Week

Years ago when I was commander of an Army company, I had an interesting conversation with a lieutenant. He knew some martial arts and his father was very proficient. I asked him if his father could break stacks of bricks. The lieutenant said that he could, but he didn't like to do it because the concentration required would wear him out for a week.

I have long considered what the lieutenant said and how it applies in my own life. I can see how some undertakings take a psychic and physical toll. I expend concentration and I can break the bricks but I am left exhausted.

Years ago my grandfather Joe said, "Decide what you want to do, and decide if you want to pay the price." As I get older, I realize I must be more judicious in how I expend my energy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Study and Quest of the law

In the 70’s the I read with interest in the original Akkadian language the first known law code of Hammurabi from around 1750 BC. In 2003, I gazed at Hammurabi’s statue in Baghdad, Iraq recognizing the reverence and pride the Iraqis still hold for him. In college, I also read in the original Greek language the great writings on law of Solon the law giver in Ancient Greece about 600 BC. I have met Greeks who are very proud of him. I have read the Magna Carta in the original Latin issued in 1215. We in the United States take pride on this document as a precursor to our own concept of the law.

Our recent struggles in the area of civil rights have brought many cases before the court as we struggle to apply due process to the states based on the 14th Amendment. Every complaint is not monumental but when one risks jail because of it or loses property because of it, it is significant. Everyone deserves to know the jurisdiction of a court over subject matter before it. An abuse of discretion may seem minor but every accretion of power must be checked or we fall back from our historic pursuit of law and a just legal process.