Friday, February 24, 2017

In the Present

We left Me standing in the attic, a copy of Plato's Symposium  in my left hand. I am recalling, though, a day in which Ben and I were having a heated debate, Plato's idealism, versus Aristotle's realism. Finally, enough time devoted to that on this day, in the opinion of Prof who said, "Enough for now.  You may take it up again on Friday.  But you will switch positions for the balance of the discussion."

"But, Doc.  That puts me at a severe disadvantage, for Alcibiades here is noted all across campus for his chameleon-like non-stance on anything.  He can switch allegiances in an instant."

"And so you must learn to do as well, Mr. Moore," quoth the good doctor, "for you will find in your chosen field of endeavor that you will have every dart and javelin flung at you, every sword the enemy can command will come into play.  To defend your position, you must be able to understand the other side.  And to do that well, you must be able to argue either side.  Point, Alcibiades."

Reverie over.  I dropped the book in the dust, retraced my steps and descended the ladder.

End the portion of the account that may contain some elements of fiction, and back to reality as I start the car, ready to carry out my mission for the day.

The years that followed saw Ben and Wes graduate, and  I, too, the year following.  Ben rather precisely followed his life-goals chart he had developed as a youth.  His career included a successful ministry including the establishment of an outreach mission to the city's down-and-out.  He wrote several books which were published and at least one of them sold quite well.  He might have extended his goals chart a few more years, though, for twenty-five turned out to be enough.  He died just days short of his 44th birthday, 25 years almost to the day that he pinned his Life Goals to his dorm wall.

He planned thoroughly and followed his plan.

RIP, Ben.

I, on the other hand, 41 years after Ben's demise, still live my life one day at a time.

Word of the day realism, in philosophy.

 The real Ben and what he wrote in my yearbook six decades ago.


Secondary Roads said...

For some peculiar reason I'm reminded of the poem of the wonderful one hoss shay. I'm sure you know of that.

Vee said...

Great inscription in your yearbook. He was wise beyond his years.

vanilla said...

Chuck, logic is logic. That's all I'll say.

Vee, the dude had his head screwed on properly.