Martyria (mar-tir’-i-a): Confirming something by referring to one’s own experience.

I’ve been to many places and seen so many things—babies being born, a train demolishing a car, a 12 pound cucumber, a book burning, finding buried treasure, a barbecue grill explode, an army buddy drink beer out of his artificial leg. I’ve tried to learn from my experience, but the list is so long, it is nearly impossible to align a current experience and derive a lesson from a past experience. Even so, a couple of things stand out as lessons worthy of attention. There are two things, based on my experiences: 1. Cheating on my income taxes. 2. Getting married. I did one year in jail and paid a $5,000.00 fine for lying to the IRS. I thought I was so clever, inflating my overhead expenses so I only made a $9.00 profit, and then donating the $9.00 profit to the Girl Scouts. When I was in prison I joined a gang: The Blues Brothers. We spent our free time discussing Belushi and Akyroyd’s performance. We all agreed that making what they did “a mission from God” was inspiring and could be used to further any cause, except sinning.

Then there’s marriage. I was married four times. Each divorce put me further into the hole financially. The fist marriage was pretty good. The rest of them were horror shows. Wife two was a big spender. Wife three was in a constant state of war. Wife four was a runner—she’d disappear for weeks at a time and frequently brought home a case of the clap when she returned.

So, it’s life we’re talking about here. My experience adds up to life. I probably have an answer for every question you have about life. Just remember, though, answers can be right or wrong, or irrelevant.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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