Attention everyone, this is your Captain Seize daBooty speaking. You may have noticed that we have been adrift for sometime. No wind in our sails, because we rolled them up. No steam in our engine, we stopped providing coal. No jet in our streams, we shut off power to the turbines. In short, we were floating. Now I know that many of you have left to pursue your own adventure and I wish you God Speed on your voyage. For those of you who have stayed on-board, waiting for the life of this vessel to return I am happy to announce that it has. I have recently undergone a craniorectal emersion which has restored my ability to steer this vessel toward all ports of call. It’s a shitty procedure but it was well worth the end result. (yeah, I had to…)
So, for those of you ready to embark, let’s begin…
Now some of you may be wondering what the picture up top is all about. This quote came out of the mouth of the famous martial-artist, Bruce Lee. While this quote is inspiring, somewhat vague and just the kind of thing you might expect to hear come from a martial artist, the quote is not originally his. The first record of this quote came from a man named Wendell Phillips (1811-1884). For those who don’t know about Mr. Phillips he was truly an American hero, albeit one you’ve probably never heard of. In the 1800’s he was an outspoken advocate for the abolition of slavery, women’s rights, universal suffrage (the right to vote), and labor (child labor laws and unions). The full scope of the things that he fought for did not come to pass in his lifetime, though he dedicated his life toward the advancement of these American ideals. By the time his words were made famous again, he had been gone nearly a century and the ideals for which he fought were either attained or mostly accomplished. So it would seem that the defeats he faced in his own lifetime, were merely steps toward something better.
You might wonder why I bring this up and why I felt the need to debunk the authenticity of an internet image turned neo-historical truth. The reason is simply this…your impact in this world will be measured long after your passing. Your mark on the world may not be seen in your lifespan. You may indirectly start a war or stop one. Your actions might ripple through time like a quenching wave or a drowning flood, but that may well be long beyond anything you can see or hear or experience. For all the accomplishments of the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States, some small part can be attributed to Wendell Phillips. How do we know that for certain? It is simple, history is written by the people who won.
Throughout every age, those in power have written the story of what happened. You won’t easily find any books about the Trail of Tears written by a Seminole who walked it, because those in power owned the printing press. You won’t easily find any books about the American slave trade written by a slave, because those who were in power banished reading and writing in the slave populations. Just the same, you won’t easily find any books about Eostre (sound it out, the name ought to sound familiar) celebrations in the age before Christianity came to power, because those in power wrote over top of their experience. Most of the depictions of life before now were written by the men in power at the time, which is where we get his-story (history). In order for the quotes of Phillips (a staunch abolitionist and civil rights leader from 19th century Massachusetts) to remain in print and popular enough for Lee (a 1st-generation California-born, Hong Kong-raised American martial artist and actor) to read and later quote them, Phillips’ side must have won and his words lived on and rang true to find purchase in the mouth of another great American.
I can only hope that some of my truth might live on to be echoed or quoted or stated without reference in an age long beyond me. If so, that would mean that my truths and my journey resulted in the positive changes that I long for in humanity. My wish for you is that your truth be found in the echoes of time to demonstrate that your truths have taken hold in this world as well.
My first truth…All I Really Needed To Know I Learned From My Dog.