John Adams: Hungry Learner, Content with Realities' Constraints


All my time seems to roll away unnoticed. I long to study sometmes, but have no opportunity. I long to be a master of Greek and Latin. I long to prosecute the mathematical and philosophical sciences. I long to know a little of ethics and moral philosophy. But I have no books, no time, no friends. I must therefore be contented to live and die an ignorant, obscure fellow.

Although John Adams was ultimately wrong about where his hunger versus where the reality of his situation would take him, it is a philosophical note which perhaps tempered with a little bit more faith in eventual outcomes (which he also possessed), and well, the relative importance of each outcome to eternity, which is worthy of all of us to relate to and consider.

Or to this observance of Adam’s I might add, “With God nothing is impossible,” a matter of faith to which we ought to tap into in the achievement of our worthy goals; and yet, we read the balancing holy injunction as well that we are encourage to be “content with our wages.” Or in other word’s, in God’s Providence, the possible is not necessarily the Providential.

And so if I were to sum the wisdom of Adams here from his college diary, let us learn all we can, exercise all the influence we can, make as many true friends as we can; and yet, at the end of our day, and the end of our lives,  be content with what God gives us after all we can do and all he wisely decides to add to it.

Source: John Adams Diary, 24 March 1756.

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They Were Believers is researched, compiled, and edited by The Moral Liberal Founder and Editor In Chief, Steve Farrell. Steve served as one of the original and most popular pundits at (1999-2007), and is the author of the highly praised inspirational novel, Dark Rose. Copyright © 2012 Steve Farrell.

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