Living a Legendary Life … November 15th, 2020

The Clay Way

Henry Clay was known as the “Great Compromiser.”  Although he ran for President of the United States five times–and lost five times–the main thrust of his political career was in Congress, negotiating the particular “deal of the day.”

Although the Washington and Lincoln are extolled by the history books as great leaders, Henry Clay is rarely mentioned in the same breath. It certainly isn’t because of inactivity. He was probably the most powerful political figure of his era.

It’s because he was the great compromiser–and ended up negotiating matters that really should never have been negotiated. For you see, Henry Clay found himself in the position of trying to compromise a deal between the North and South and the emerging states of the Union over the issue of slavery.  Although most historians will agree that Henry Clay, himself, was opposed to the institution, he felt it was more important to maintain the status quo of a peaceful union than to pursue the excellence of a slave-free society.

  • When is it right to be peaceful? 
  • When is it necessary to raise the fuss that creates the change that fosters new attitudes that lead to a better world?

 Some things may be compromised and some things are not negotiable.

In leading a legendary life, perhaps the greatest attribute to attain is discernment.  And specifically, discerning what is changing, what needs to change, what will change and what must remain the same. If you mix these up, you end up on the short end of the stick, with history viewing you as an encumbrance.  So how do we know the difference?  How do we determine what is flowing toward evolution and what is carved into the face of the mountain?

There is nothing wrong with the great discussion.

What is the great discussion?  Who are we, why are we, where did we come from and where in the hell are we going?  Feel free to participate with gusto at will.  Just do not be so arrogant or ignorant to build a fort in any particular idea. People who think they know God’s address, telephone number and all of his personal habits are not only laughable, but potentially dangerous.

I heard a preacher the other day on television quote the great Hebrews scripture, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.”  I had to smile.  For most assuredly, the minister’s interpretation was that what Moses believed about God is still true today.  When actually, that scripture means that Jesus, who was in a constant state of learning and growing in stature and wisdom while he was mortal on this planet, was always that way and is still learning and growing and expanding today.  I cannot believe in a deity that asks me to repent at whim while maintaining a permanent residence with no revision.

So what are the absolutes in life?  What are the things that are immutable?  Do they actually exist?  Is there a compass, or is life just a boat without a rudder and an oar?

I believe there are only three absolutes in this life from which we draw all the energy for decision-making and interaction with our human fellows.

1. There are no chosen people.

There are just folks who choose to stay involved. Every time we have tried to isolate one group of people as a superior race, the result has always been destructive.

We are not chosen. We are here. Any attempt to improve our status by birth, doctrine, proclamation, skin color, national origin or sexual preference is a futile adventure in fatalism.

If you must think you’re special, be prepared to always be trumped by those with a stronger case and more militant inclinations.

2.  Any belief in a supreme being that doesn’t place human beings in a primal role is erred.

I can just hear the groans and the moans from the religiously fervent from all over the world. “He’s trying to make people God.” 

No.  I’m just trying to say that it’s impossible to reach God without respecting Bob and Sally.

There is only one absolute that comes to play in blending the supernatural and the natural.  It’s phrased in many different ways but the end conclusion is the same.

We must duplicate in other people what we want done for ourselves. 

Yes, what goes around comes around.  Any breach in this practice, or any attempt to circumvent human beings and their needs will not end in favor from either God or man.

3. We are evolving towards simplicity.

The only certainty on this planet is change. And ultimately, that change is an evolution toward simplicity. If you want to get into the flow of the cosmos, find a simpler path and a plainer, more direct way of dealing with others and the everyday things that make life tick.

Complexity is what causes the philosopher to ruminate over things that don’t really matter, the theologian to preach homilies that homogenize nothing, and the politician to pass laws that make the inevitable illegal.

  • Keep it simple, stupid.
  • There are no chosen people.
  • And human beings must play a primal role.

You can either follow the example of the Great Compromiser, Henry Clay, and end up negotiating the destiny of men already deemed equal in a higher court of understanding, or you can abandon the foolishness of absolutes and deal with the round, rotating world.

After all, it’s the only one we know for sure that exists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: