“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
– Isaac Newton
Armastice day was yesterday, as you most likely know. It marks the end of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the war. One that claimed the lives of almost 17 Million people through almost unimaginable cruelty and horror.
I heard a story yesterday of a 15 year old Irish boy from Foxrock, Dublin going to fight in the same war. He never returned to his family.
I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for his parents – saying goodbye knowing that they would most likely never see him again. A story that happened to many families.
Yet that boy most likely was drawn to the war because of a sense of service and contribution and making an impact. Noble ideals.
It’s a sobering reminder to me that the freedom we enjoy today is built on the foundations of other people’s sacrifice.
We are standing literally on the shoulders of previous generations.
In a busy world, it’s easy to forget about this connection to the past. It’s even easier to get caught up with the numerous problems in our careers and lives, and forget how great life is today compared to those troubled times.
We can get caught up with worrying about things that will most likely never happen, get frustrated because goals are not being achieved, and relentlessly compare ourselves against an unachievable ideal – but to what end?
Perhaps the greatest way to honour the sacrifice of people in WWI goes way beyond remembering them.
Maybe it’s as simple as really appreciating the life we have today – and squeezing the joy out of every bit of it – problems and all.
And perhaps lightening up a little more – because compared to war, life in the majority of countries where people are reading this is pretty great.
If I was that 15 year old boy, that’s the kind of world I would imagine I was fighting for…
Where can you appreciate more this week?
What problems can you drop worrying about?
Where in your career and life can you build a better world?
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