THE PAST IS PROLOGUE
WAY TO LIVE_PROLOGUE
“The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden. A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject... And so this knowledge will be unfolded only through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them... Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced.” // Seneca1
Everything written here is only here because of what came before. Without those before us, we would have nothing to contribute.
Our role is to connect the dots for current generations, just as those who came before us. What we teach will always remain unfinished. Never complete. It is up to those who come after us to connect their own dots and make the world a better place for their generation.
Every generation passes things down. Most generations will only pass down temporal knowledge: knowledge of the things that change. The striving for riches, the vanity of fame, the fleeting nature of influence.
Some generations pass down something greater: eternal knowledge. Knowledge about the things that do not change. Virtue. Wisdom. Purpose. Meaning. Things that have been here before us and will long outlive us. It has become too rare for those who come before us to lead us into wisdom.
Too many generations have had to start over because the generation that came before them did not pass down true wisdom. Let us, in this generation, not find ourselves guilty of doing the same.
Because of those that came before me, I do not find myself starting over. I find myself building on a foundation laid for me by those who have paid a tremendous cost. Not just me but all of us. How many wise people have walked the earth and blazed a trail for us to follow? These people have laid a foundation for us. A foundation of eternal wisdom.
Each one of us also have people in our lives that show us the way. Keith Craft is my father of origin. He is also my father of choice. He is not the wisest man to ever live. But he is the wisest man I’ve ever known. He is my hero. He embodies what I strive to be as a man, father, husband and leader.
The virtues that shape my thinking, lead my attitudes and guide my behavior are not things I discovered on my own. I was (and still am) taught by him, who I consider to be a true master.
It can be trite, but it’s true: words cannot express the impact of my dad on my life, and therefore, the impact he will have on any life God gives me the privilege to influence.
What is written here, and my life itself, is only what it is because of the price paid to build a foundation for me to stand on. All that I am or hope to be I owe to my father.
My hope is that as you read this, you discover the power of your own life. Like many people, you may be starting over. That’s hard, but I promise you it’s worth it. Because my dad started over, I don’t have to. This book is dedicated to his life and influence.
NEXT CHAPTER //
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Natural Questions (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2014).