May 312006

I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving; To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it–but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. –Oliver Wendell Holmes

There’s another famous quote about ships not being built to remain at anchor in a safe harbor. This is the challenge from Holmes. He’s reminding that it is often more about the journey than the destination, and that there will be challenges along the way, but we must keep moving.

Holmes is best known for his prose, but he was actually a medical doctor and anatomy professor.

Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts,?in 1809, and educated at Phillips Academy, Andover, and Harvard College. After graduation, he entered the Law School, but soon gave up law for medicine. He studied first in Boston, and later spent two years in medical schools in Europe, mainly in Paris. On his return he began to practice in Boston, but in two years he was appointed professor of anatomy at Dartmouth College. He died in Boston, October 7, 1894.

One must admit its a bit unusual for a man of science and medicine to be best known as a man of letters.

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