I'm an atheist. So examples of faith/belief are pretty difficult to come by without delving into the imaginary friend’s arena. In troubling times, faith and belief aren't exactly unwanted items. It's hard to stick to your moral and ethical guns while still having something to lean on. Luckily, I discovered an example that really hit home to me, and I feel I can get the same benefit without all the guilt, bad Manischewitz wine, and tithing resulting in mega pastors flying around in private jets. I love stories about perseverance and commitment to a goal no matter what the odds. I find in today's society, despite the fact we have been blessed with more technological marvels than at any other point in human history, what we seem to still be excellent at doing is quitting. You want to wave a big foam #1 finger about something now as American as apple pie? We're a bunch of quitters. We quit school, jobs, hobbies, relationships, and most devastatingly, ourselves. The reason why is because many of us just can't see the payoff, the light at the end of the tunnel, in a compelling enough manner to stay the course. It just seems too daunting. Naturally, thinking about such a daunting concept made me want to have a drink. Such a heavy topic of thought requires an equally heavy libation -- a wine cooler, or fuzzy navel just won't do the trick. This requires the big guns. Single malt scotch, à Pauillac Bordeaux, or a cognac. And not just any cognac, but something worthy, like Louis XIII by Remy Martin. That is the example I want to talk about.
Louis XIII cognac costs about $7,500 a bottle. The reason why it costs so much is because it is a blend of eaux-de-vies that are as old as 100 years. You don't need to be a sommelier to understand what I am talking about. Focus on the 100 years, not the eaux-de-vies, although the latter is super awesome to understand fortified wines! Think about the workers at Remy Martin, who are harvesting grapes today. They do not get to sample the fruits of their labour. Their children will not be able to appreciate it. MAYBE, their grandchildren will finally get to taste what these people are working on today. 100 years. Think of the faith someone has to have in their job to go every day, work diligently, and never really know if it was in vain, or successful. Perspective is so critical and I guarantee you whatever you are thinking about quitting isn't something that has a payoff long after you are dead. Suddenly, four years doesn't sound so bad, does it? Or, another lousy day, or a tough moment because the payoff to endure those things is so fucking short compared to devoting your entire life to something you can never experience, no?
You're probably saying, "Well, those workers know their work matters because they can sample the work of the efforts of previous employees." True, completely true. Does that apply at the very beginning to the workers who made the first batch? They had no clue what would happen 100 years from then. Yet, they still went to work, they still toiled away, they still did what they needed to do. I actually wrote this post months ago, before I started school at Penn State. I'm not going to lie, guys. Taking 7 courses during this summer session in my first semester back in school from the student side since the early 90's sucks balls. Combining that with working full time, planning a move, and writing and growing this blog is not an easy task. I'm tired. I'm questioning if it's worth it. Yet, there is a quantifiable light at the end of the tunnel. I will get my degree, probably in less than two years. I can do this. Quitting is not an option and I'm going to do it partially in tribute to those people who I just talked about above. No quitting school this time. I have even better news since quitting is a four-letter word to me…. all of you can stop telling me to quit smoking. You can't pick and choose commitment. It's all, or nothing.