I'll Drink to Him!
To get everyone on the same page, I want to give you an insight about me. I love traveling. I cherish visiting different countries. I have gone to school and taught overseas, which are both great experiences. Those three events vastly broadened my perspective and understanding on life. If I had the opportunity to relive my life, the only change would be to have gone overseas earlier and more often during my life.
Nearly fifty years ago, I studied at the University of Edinburgh at New College, which is located on Mound and lived in Ramsey Garden next to New College.
Because of my ethnic background is Scottish, I am keenly aware of Scots who have worked for freedom, wrote, and invented for centuries. Winston Churchill who wrote of the Scots that "of all small nations of this earth perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind."
When traveling overseas, I learn more about the country and will also pick up souvenirs from the country that I am visiting. For example, I have a painting of John Knox's home on the Royal Mile, a brass rubbing of Robert the Bruce, and Nessie.
One of the educational events had to do with Robert the Bruce. Robert the Bruce was a great Scottish leader. In fact, just over 700-years ago on June 24, 1314, he defeated Edward II at Bannockburn. He said, "For as long as one hundred of us shall remain alive, we shall never in any wise consent submit to the rule of the English, for it is not for glory we fight, nor riches, or for honour, but for freedom alone, which no good man loses but with his life."
Now, that is a statement of a true leader. Well, it is a great leader's utterance. However, what is historically interesting is that Robert the Bruce was hiding in a cave to avoid being captured by the English and killed. Dancing with death can cause a person to come alive. That was true with regards to Robert the Bruce.
There he was quivering in a cave while attempting to avoid capture by the English. What do you think that Robert the Bruce did while hiding from certain death? He watched a Scottish spider weave its web. Over and over the spider tried and failed.
After several hours, the Scottish spider was successful. There sat Robert the Bruce, in a cave, learning a lesson of life from a spider. Taking that lesson to heart, he left the cave and defeated Edward II at Bannockburn. He had danced with death and came alive. He addressed that issue with this truism, "Every man dies. Not every man really lives." Randy Pausch would have been proud of Robert the Bruce.
Therefore, whenever I come across anything having to do with Robert the Bruce, I seize upon it. Recently, I happened upon Robert the Bruce Ale in a six-pack.
Immediately, I put the six-pack into the refrigerator for several hours. Then out came a bottle, which I took to my office and wrote this essay about the ale's namesake. Here's to the Scots and especially Robert the Bruce.
Visit the On Seeing the Light page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Darkest Before Dawn page to read more about this topic.
Visit the The Last Lecture page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.
Visit the "Don Quixote" page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Man in the Arena page to read more about this topic.
Visit The Mentors and Me page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Best and Worst of Times page to read more about this topic.