I recently had the great joy of speaking to nearly 600 Indiana judges, hosted by their Chief Justice and the Indiana Supreme Court, pictured above. After a lively hour of philosophy, a lot of the honorables stood in line during their lunch hour, trading food for philosophy, to buy a copy of The Oasis Within and have me sign it. The conversations we had as a result were amazing.
Judges confront daily the most troubling problems of our society, and most often the people causing those problems. They face difficulty, tragedy, and the entire range of human emotions played out in their courts. It has to be emotionally exhausting. And the workload never lets up. They don't have a hard week followed by a light load. It's endless. And the wonderful irony is that, surrounded by the greatest threats to societal disorder, they play such a crucial role in maintaining the order that allows for a flourishing culture. And, as you can imagine, it's never an easy job. Then, in their spare time, as if they have any, they do volunteer work in their communities. I was inspired just being with them.
One man recalled having heard me speak 21 years ago. He said the meeting occurred at the lowest period of his career and life, and that the hour had been just the inspiration he had needed. And now here he was, all those years later, flourishing and loving his work.
Another remembered that same event, all those years ago, and thanked me for in that talk having gotten him excited about philosophy, which he has read now for over twenty years. He works with addicts and tries to impart to them the best wisdom for living. He snatched up a copy of the new book as perhaps just the thing he needed to share with those he counsels.
The judges' enthusiasm for the new book was great to see. The Oasis Within is about inner resilience, outer results, and so much of the wisdom we need in navigating a challenging and often gratifying world. I look forward to hearing from the judges as they begin to read, ponder, and use the ideas in the book. It's a rare book signing where you see so many new books go out the door with so many avid readers who are in a position to use its ideas for great good in their communities and in their lives.
If you have a chance, thank a judge for all that they do! I sure took the opportunity I had to do so.