From his days as an artillery captain, Hamilton had kept a paybook with blank pages in the back, while on Washington’s staff, he filled up 112 pages with note from his extra-curricular reading. Hamilton fit the type of the self-improving autodidact, employing all his spare time to better himself […] thanks to his paybooks, we know he read a considerable amount of philosophy, including Bacon, Hobbes, Montaigne, and Cicero. He also perused histories of Greece, Prussia, and France.
- Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, Pg. 111
In times like these, it can feel absurd to do anything but fight. It isn’t the revolutionary war, but its pretty dire out there, and I, for one, find myself feeling guilty if I’m doing anything other than calling my representatives, or planning the next action. But Hamilton found time to read cicero,… and they still won.
And I remember the Bush years. I remember spending every night of my life in a meeting and every weekend at a demo. I remember the bonds I created with people during those years, many of whom continue to be my closest friends, but I also remember the exhaustion, the distance from family and friends not caught up in the struggle, the loss of time for reflection, for thought, for watching a game. I remember the personal projects forsaken, the professional opportunities missed, the time wasted spinning our wheels because we hadn’t taken the step back to reflect, to consider, to live.
This time, I am not going to let the Trump Administration dictate my life. I’m going to fight them, of course, but I won’t let them decide the course of my life. I’ll spend time with my kids, I’ll read books of no political import, I run, and I’ll write about these things on this stupid website because giving up on a personal life leads nowhere good.
Trust me on that.