The Saga of Edward Everett/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on June 23, 2013

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The country is remembering the Gettysburg Address on its 150th anniversary. Bob Greene, a columnist, recently wrote for the WSJ on the featured speaker that day. It was not President Lincoln. The famed orator Edward Everett was to speak that day, to be followed by President Lincoln. The ex-Senator Everett delivered his oration over a two-hour period. The text of his speech covered 13,508 words. (A printed page contains less than 600 words, as a basis of comparison.) After Mr. Everett’s oration, President Lincoln delivered a speech that consisted of 280 words. We know the rest of the story. History remembers Lincoln’s address and barely makes mention of Everett’s oration.

Mr. Greene has a well-articulated moral to the tale of the 2 Gettysburg talks on that November day in 1863. “Sometimes, regardless of how diligently you prepare…of how thoroughly you consider every aspect of the task, you get blindsided by fate.” Life is unpredictable and fickle. Perhaps it is truly like a “box of chocolates” as Mr. Gump has taught us.

No one enters marriage assuming that divorce will be a likely outcome. We are by nature an optimistic people. But things do go wrong, relationships unravel, and divorces do occur. It is easy to blame another, be bitter, and treat divorce like armed combat. The only problem with that scenario is that it leaves us nowhere near where we want to be in life. If divorce is inevitable take the time to consider how civil divorce can be the best way to prepare for the rest of your life. Mediate don’t litigate. Don’t get blindsided by fate.

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