I think one of the saddest individual tragedies in American history is the assasination of Abraham Lincoln.
After all the things Lincoln had gone through:
- A lifetime of political failures before becoming president,
- Only to be elected to preside over the Civil War
- Wading through multiple generals who missed war-ending opportunities before finally finding Grant
- Running for reelection in 1864 while still fighting the war(!), against his own former General(!!) George McClellan
- His wife mostly losing her mind
- Losing a son
- And on and on…
So after all that General Lee finally surrendered on April 9, 1865.
And Lincoln was killed only 6 days later.
They’re still cleaning up the parades celebrating your pinnacle achievement and you get killed. Ugh.
I’m not sure what there is to take from this other than sadness but I’ll give it a shot:
Having and following your own personal principles makes life Worth It regardless of final outcomes.
He could “enjoy the journey” in the sense that he could be satisfied with his decisions while making them, instead of having to hang his hat and hope on some future event.