now I've been drowning in inspiration these days...
(it's not like there isn't enough to talk about, right.)
But here I am -- after weeks of silence, after days of shaking my head in utter disgust, in disbelief, in questioning everything, while questioning even more the people we have placed in power, the muse that finally got through to me came from a bottle.
And it was just a bottle of Jim Beam Bourbon, too.
But for some reason, the label showing the Seven Generations hit me hard, as if the bar stool was swept, totally unsuspecting, right out from under me.
For in the last days, weeks, and most of a month, if not two, I've been readying an application for the Daughter's of the American Revolution. And believe me -- if you thought I was an American girl BEFORE, just you wait.
Never in my life have I felt so connected to THIS country, THIS purpose, THIS life.
I can't sleep.
Sure, a big part has been the fifty something, something night sweats keeping me up at night -- but now, it's coupled with this deep sense of knowing of where I came! And this knowing comes with great excitement. So much so, I find it hard to sleep.
I have multiple ancestors having set foot on this soil dating to the early 1600's; and, in turn, have multiple ancestor's having fought for freedom and liberty for all -- that being your's and mine -- in the Revolutionary War.
But there it was -- the bottle of Jim Beam -- highlighting the seven generations of the Beam family, beginning with Jacob Beam (1760-1834) to David Beam (1802-1854) to David M. Beam (1833-1913) to Colonel James B, Beam (1864-1947) to T. Jeremiah Beam (1899-1977) to Booker Noe (1929-2004) to Fred Noe (1957-present). [Booker being the grandson of James B. Beam and Fred being Booker's son.]
So you know me --
wanting to delve into this a wee bit deeper, it led me to the pages of Jim Beam history, here.
And according to the Beam team -- as history played out, long after the Boston Tea Party, and skipping through years of revolt and change and the great cost of the Revolutionary War, can you even believe that by the year 1791, one of the first tax increases implemented by our young government was on distilled spirits? [Who knew reading a bottle of booze could lead to such lucrative knowledge?]
Of course -- realizing then -- we quickly went from "no taxation without representation" to just more taxation. Funny, isn't it; and that's government for you. But I digress. (Or is it America digressing?)
If only we stuck to the plan.
The 5000 Year Leap describes the plan, having been birthed from the free market concepts of Adam Smith -- a college professor who wrote The Wealth of Nations -- like so:
- Specialized production -- let each person or corporation of persons do what they do best.
- Exchange of goods takes place in a free-market environment without governmental interference in production, prices, or wages.
- The free market provides the needs of the people on the basis of supply and demand, with no government-imposed monopolies.
- Prices are regulated by competition on the basis of supply and demand.
- Profits are looked upon as the means by which production of goods and services is made worthwhile.
- Competition is looked upon as the means by which quality is improved, quantity is increased, and prices are reduced.
While The Leap narrows it all down to just four laws in the very next paragraph:
- Freedom to try
- Freedom to buy
- Freedom to sell
- Freedom to fail
Our founding fathers believed that Adam Smith was not only right, they agreed "that the greatest threat to economic prosperity is the arbitrary intervention of the government into the economic affairs of private business and the buying public."
In the wake of Obamatrade failing on the House floor just yesterday, does any of this make you wonder what in hells-bells is going on within our current administration, let alone what has happened to America over the last hundred years?
A system of government where the
least capable to lead are elected by
the least capable of producing, and
where the members of society least
likely to sustain themselves or succeed,
are rewarded with goods and services
paid for by the confiscated wealth
of a diminishing number of producers.
"By 1905," as it says in The Leap, "the United States had become the richest industrial nation in the world. With only 5 percent of the earth's continental land area and merely 6 percent of the world's population, the American people were producing over half of almost everything -- clothes, food, houses, transportation, communications, even luxuries."
Including a mighty fine share of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, I might add.
And I would have to assume by both the messaging on the bottle and upon the website combined, the legacy is something the Beam family proudly carries with them from generation to generation. And I believe they have earned it.
They have stuck with the basic recipe -- doing what they do best; and are not in the least bit discouraged by the competition. I mean, have you checked out that bourbon, whiskey, scotch section lately? It's every price point, every aging, every color, and even added flavorings to boot; and it's the people who remain at will to pick and purchase the one they want or not! Beam is still on the beam after two hundred years.
It's a legacy and evidently, a business practice and a way of life, that has earned a reputation worthy to stay, and stay strong.
And this -- in a charred oak-y barrel bigger than a nutshell -- does a mighty fine job explaining my sleepless nights upon the discovery of the generations who have preceded me. My family line runs deep into the heart of this country, and then some. And more than that, a piece of every soul who happened to have come before me is inside me, turning me into the marvelous one-of-a-kind blend that I am; while this magnificent ability to trace the steps backwards somehow creates the platform to take the leaps of faith forward with a certain confidence. All the Williams and Alexanders and Jonathans and Josephs...along with all the Elizabeths and Janes and Katherines and Joans....and now me, G.
Like Jim Beam, seven generations ago, my family lived in America; and my great grandfather (7th) fought in the Revolutionary War. While long before that, seventeen generations to be exact -- my great grandfather fought in the Crusades!
Ya see? Do you get it now?
That's the kind of legacy that can keep this girl up for the rest of her life.
It's mind blowing and mind boggling.
Just as the generation of rebels of the Boston harbor lives on inside us, just as the Revolutionary War was won, just as our founding fathers argued and fought and labored over the words and sentiment and messaging upon America's label -- The Constitution, alongside our Declaration of Independence -- and for every thing worth fighting for ever since -- it all adds up to a legacy that does not sleep.
And given these are the times that try men's souls, this is no time to sleep.
And that might be just enough to end this day with aplomb.
Make it a Good Day, G
And run out and get yourself some Jim Beam.