An awesome family history lesson from yours truly today.
Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, my great great great great grandfather was famous for his violent feuding over his support of the Stuart claim on the crown on the United Kingdom. He was convicted of treason against the crown and was actually the last man in Britain to be publicly beheaded at the Tower of London.
He was sentenced to death on April 9 1747…but shortly before the execution, a scaffold (stadium stands or something similar to that) for spectators who were viewing the beheading collapsed and left 20 dead…which my ancient grandfather thought was quite amusing. Reportedly, he was laughing at the entire debacle.
This became the origin of the saying “laughing your head off.”
Right before he died he then repeated a line from Horace’s “Odes” in latin…dulce et decorum set pro patria mori…which means “It is sweet and fitting to die for your country.”
My dad told me this story this morning, and I sat there listening in delight as I heard of a man who was known as a patriot and martyr die for his cause. I continued to dig and found the Lovat family saying “Je Suis Prest.”
It means, “I am ready.”
Something in me felt electrified as I heard and read about this man whose blood runs through my veins laughing on the chopping block getting ready to meet his demise. He fought for something, in fact, the etching of his death actually has him extending his fingers to the number of the clans he had brought to his cause and to battle with him for the Stuart Claim to the throne. This man kept a sense of humor about the whole thing and at the same time died with pride and honor over something he believed in.
Here I am generations later left with his words.
Je Suis Prest
When I sit here writing every day, there often are moments where I think about where I am going, where I have been, and the journey that exists in every single moment throughout the day. They say that philosophy is all about the journey, sometimes different journeys in themselves, arriving at the same conclusion. That’s why I love learning about quotes and how people arrived at those words. Often we are given the watered down version, which mind you is still fantastic to read, but the real wisdom comes in everything that surrounds the quote.
Life is going to throw an almost inexcusable amount of obstacles in your way when you are traveling down your road. But a journey without desire and deep belief in why you are doing what you are doing will always cause you to land short of your goal. Would you be willing to die for what you believe in?
That is what I ask myself today.
What is it that I would be willing to die for?
My writing has been about the lessons I learn every day and inspiring others to live bold and powerful lives. But is that really something I would die for? Is that really the end game for me?
The answer turned out to be no. And that no made me think . . . well . . . then what?
Many have stood for ideas. Civil rights, change…love. I sat there and pondered for a long time. Then…pop.
Essentially, what I am doing all of this for? The posting? The writing? The videos? The quotes? It’s to show not only myself, but as many people as I possibly can. . . that there is hope. Hope in the worst of times – hope when you are struggling to make something happen – hope when you feel alone. As well as during the best of times, hope remains a constant. Hope for me isn’t as much about attaining something rather than being a big part of believing something can be true. That our world can be full of light instead of darkness . . . and that love prevails.
There is hope. There are many who don’t feel that way right now, but that’s part of the reason I am here – to reach them – and to let them know in my own way that hope indeed exists.
Je suis prest
I am ready
– Evan Sanders