Last week I participated in a business discussion where the speaker explained that “timeless lessons could be learned from classic books”. Specifically he mentioned that Bill Gates took week-long read-only vacations and Warren Buffet has a “voracious reading habit”. While these references were interesting, it was his curious mention of Thomas Jefferson that captured my imagination.
Now Thomas Jefferson? He was a reader. He was a bit of a writer too. Specifically though, it’s the words inscribed on his tomb stone that I’d like to share,
HERE WAS BURIED
AUTHOR OF THE
STATUTE OF VIRGINIA
AND FATHER OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
This epitaph is not what others wrote about President Jefferson but instead, what he wrote about himself. Jefferson defined himself as the author of the Declaration of American Independence and the Statute of Virginia and, the father of the University of Virginia. No mention of his stint as our third President.
I meet people every day who define themselves by what they have, who they are married to, and how they are positioned in business. The reality is, how you seek to define yourself may not truthfully be who you are; when I think of my personal lost to joy journey, I know for sure that once I really knew who I was, and what I believed in, everything else started to fall into place.
Need evidence? Read back through my BLOG posts. You’ll see a mother, a love and a friend — and if you look very closely — you will see an author and an educator advocating for the rights of others. Thinking about how you might define yourself? Good, that was my intention.
Have a great week,