John Adams Bio Entry 1

Part II Distant Shores

“Fortune may have yet a better success in reserve for you, and they who lose today may win tomorrow.”-Cervantes

Part II begins with a great quote that highlights failure. To me it highlights a relationship with failure that not many people touch upon or really adopt. The idea that regardless of the constant failure today, tomorrow, or two weeks from now, that tomorrow (meaning any tomorrow) holds the possibility of a success which could be a better success than you had originally intended.

Chapter 4: Appointment to France

Sub Chapter I

This subchapter primarily highlights Abigail Adams pregnancy, management of the Adams estate, and eventual miscarriage. It also highlights John Adams appointment as commissioner to France on November 27, 1777 in the hopes of negotiating an alliance with France.

“I cannot but wish I were better qualified.”-John Adams

This quote from his correspondence with Abigail Adams struck a chord with me because it’s something I feel very often in my life. Not necessarily in my profession but in other aspects of my life and I feel it’s a quote that many people can relate to. In mid 2016 I signed up for an OCR (obstacle course race) based primarily on my curiosity on how I would perform in such an event. It stemmed from watching seasons of Survivor and The Amazing Race earlier in the year. Following that I convinced a few of my friends to join the race with me, in the hopes it would create a type of accountability. After, a few of my other friends asked if they could join me also, because they had always been curious but perhaps needed a push to do it or the opportunity.

I gained quite a bit of anxiety not only at the prospect of entering into a strenuous race but also in managing a team, which I had never done before or been any type of team leader. I felt, just as the quote states, very unqualified. Looking back now, it probably wasn’t as big of a deal as it should of been, but to me it was an obstacle. In the subsequent months that followed I tried holding team meet ups, which were sparse, and while members did show up there was a lot of conflicting schedules. I also didn’t know how to properly motivate members and I also took it upon myself to want to be involved in their training regime. Unfortunately due to personal familial problems and depression my control of the team fizzled out and prior to the race I was back at square one. I went into the race not having trained, not having managed my team properly, had tendonitis on my rotator cuff, and had just gotten over the flu. Fortunately, every member present at the race completed the race, including myself, and came out with a lot out of it.

“To be good, and too do good, is all we have to do.”-John Adams

A very simple and effective quote that was directed at his daughter Nabby. A quote that can really be applied to the current political and social state that we find ourselves in. Also just a very applicable in general and something I wish most people would remember to do.

“History is the true source of solid instruction.”-JA

Yet another great nugget. Since early 2016 I’ve been really trying to learn to applicate previous characteristics of historical figures and also their writings to my own life, which is what I’m doing in this case but in a typed form. I feel as if these people are my mentors in some way and their voices are echoing through time to instruct me or show me things that I was previously unaware of. Obviously this quote is applicable to events and all types of history but presently it really applies to historical figures. Reading this book, John Adams on his own, is such a relatable person. The idea of a founding father to me was always this stoic, super humanized being, with a certain foresight, and without any hesitation in actions or sense of purpose. John Adams as portrayed in this novel and even through his letters is humanized and very relatable and just something I never expected to encounter. His doubt, concern, anxieties, dislikes, and constant push to just do the right thing to the best of his capability is so admirable and inspiring that it’s been comforting to me in it’s own way.