My disrespect for a life of leisure is unfortunate but real. Also supported by one of America's greatest statesmen.

A friend read this yesterday and thought of me. It’s a fitting quote:

"Determine never to be idle. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing."

–Thomas Jefferson

I have always found it interesting that the word die is contained within the word idle. I find the two concepts fairly synonymous.

To my friend’s credit, he does not believe in the fundamental philosophy behind this quote nor does he adhere to it, yet he accepts my own application and adherence without criticism.

It’s more than I can say for myself. I have pestered this friend on more than one occasion to do more, despite the fact that he has a secure and meaningful career with a nonprofit agency, is raising a wonderful daughter, and has several hobbies including brewing his own beer.

It’s not like the guy is sitting idle or wasting his life.

He simply believes that there should also be time for relaxation and leisure and finds no need to add additional career opportunities to his life. He is happy with his life.

Yet like a jerk, I have repeatedly badgered him to do more.

I consider myself fortunate to have a friend so willing to accept me for who I am while I repeatedly refuse to do the same. He is one of my most valued first readers, and he and I share season tickets to the Patriots. Time spent with him is easy, stimulating and always fun.

He is one of my closest friends.

I don’t know where I would be without him.

Yet I suspect that that he and Thomas Jefferson would not have been so friendly.


Ironically, my favorite quote of all-time also references Jefferson:

“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

It remains my favorite, but this Jefferson quote will now be included in my top three. My other top three quote is the following:

“Reader, you must know that an interesting fate awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.”

- Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

Often painfully, I have found this to be quite true as well.