Friday, July 27, 2012

Live Life and Love

To my son Tommy,

    Your father considers himself a bit of a philosopher.  It stems from a ton of reading and years of tending bar and good bit of Irish blood which makes me able to BS with the best.  I have read many many books on philosophy and by philosophers.  Plato, Cicero, Aesop, Confucius, Descartes, Socrates, Mill, Thoreau, Mencken, Twain, you name it I have read up and studied and spent countless hours thinking and examining their works and searching for answers to the questions of this life and this world.  I read theorems and axioms and morals and just about every chiasmus known to man.  

     A chiasmus by the way is when you take the same words and repeat them in a different order to get some poignant deep quote.  The most famous example is probably the one by Cicero "Eat to live, not live to eat".  I know tons of these and some day on some trivia contest the fact that I know the proper name for these types of phrases will pay off big, like win me a half price beer.  It was one of these quips that pushed me to go ahead with blogging as well.   F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with saying "You don't write because you want to say something; you write because you've got something to say" and that was the whole point of starting your blog.  I have something to say to you.  Of course I never really looked up the history of that quote so not sure where, when, or even if he said those words.  Your grandfather Leo, being a history major, would probably make me look this up and find the actual source.  Though your grandfather is a philosopher in his own right, he would make sure the history is right and find it in some periodical or tome.

    Always remember you don't have to read a bunch of old dusty books to learn a lesson.  Some of the most sage advice comes from the strangest of places.  I have learned lessons from song lyrics (Jimmy Buffet is my favorite for that) comics (Pearls Before Swine is currently one of my top 3) kids poetry (I try to read you Shel Silverstein poems all the time)  t.v. shows (You can learn a ton from even something as silly as The Three Stooges) .

   But the biggest way to learn about life and learn about yourself and learn about purpose is to live life and love.  That is what you and your mother allowed me to do and the gift you guys have given me.  You made me realize how precious life is and how much I can learn from a 3 year old .  I can watch a little boy go up and hug his mother and gain more insight about God and why we are here in that single moment than I ever have in countless hours spent reading.  I can see a budding engineer building a grandiose castle out of toy blocks and glimpse true imagination and a world that anything is possible.  You taught this old philosopher a brand new philosophy that makes sense.

Sincerley with love from your dad,

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