Note to my son…
Part of the broader paradox that is human existence is this notion, proven true by experience, that it’s the trials and challenges that make us better, stronger, kinder, more refined people. This principle has been stated albeit with differing levels of hopefulness by those on both sides of the theist/anti-theist divide.
This notion as a biblical principle is announced variously by Job…But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. (Job 23:10). And by King David…For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. (Psalm 66:10). And, of course, with a less hopeful more self-reliant tone by the ubermensch anti-theist Nietzsche, who declared…That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
As a young lawyer it was apparent to me that only those who were willing to stand and risk very public failure – and all the attendant embarrassment – would eventually rise above to a more noble place – the place of mastery in the pursuit of that extremely difficult to reach thing called justice. Along the way there were innumerable put downs by those both within and without the camp. Bosses as naysayers and opponents as naysayers. Judges who sought to protect their own ugly agendas. Clients who were unappreciative despite being served above and beyond. I often felt alone. And after enduring all this, justice itself was still too often elusive. And yet all of it was of great value to me. I would change nothing.
Dream bigger son…and reach for the highest things. What else could you do?