Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More




Laurence Platt 71st Birthday:

Surrender II

Napa, California, USA

June 8, 2021



This essay, Laurence Platt 71st Birthday: Surrender II, is the third in the trilogy Birthday: It is also the sequel to Contribution: Surrender.



Standing in 21 and looking ahead at 71, it seemed like an impossible mark, one I could never, ever reach. Now, standing in 71 and looking back at 21, it arrived in a flash. Time seems to move faster looking backward than looking forward.

If all of your life as lived  were rendered as a movie like that, you could replay the movie, watch it in its entirety, and thus see definitively what your life was / is all about. That's the proof. Listen: what you'd see in that movie, would be hard evidence. There'd be no doubt. There wouldn't be any scenes of what you wanted  to do but didn't. There wouldn't be any scenes of what you imagined your life would, could, or should be about but wasn't. You wouldn't see any scenes of what you would have liked to have happen but which didn't happen (nor, for that matter, would scenes necessarily be excluded of what you would have liked to have not  happen).

No, if you were watching your entire life as a movie, all there would be to see is what happened  - exactly what happened, nothing but what happened, not what you would have liked to happen, not what you thought should have happened, not what you would have wanted to happen (or not liked, or not preferred, or not wanted). None of the above. All there would be to see in a movie of your life as lived, would be what happened. And really, that's so subtle we may miss its simple profundity.

When I sit with that in my lap like a hot brick and contemplate it, it leads me to a confounding realization: that in spite of all my many mis-attempts to the contrary, to be complete with my life as lived doesn't require that I be complete with what I wanted to do yet didn't do. Regrets have nothing to do with this. It doesn't require that I be complete with what I imagined my life would be about yet wasn't / isn't. It doesn't require that I be complete with what I would have liked to have done but didn't do. Nor does it require that I be complete with what would have, could have, or should have happened but didn't happen. What this all comes down to is really blindingly simple: none of all the other stuff that didn't happen, happened (which is actually obvious in retrospect). So none of all that other stuff was / is my real life. My real life was / is only what happened. That's  what there is to be complete with. Letting all that in fully, along with all its ramifications, is a breakthrough. It's vast!

Our lives as lived is what happened. That's all our lives ever were / are. Everything else that didn't happen, can be bracketed off and set aside. When we do that, what remains is what there is to be complete with: our lives as lived - with nothing added, with nothing taken away. That's our lives exactly  as lived. That's what there is to respect. That's what there is to celebrate. That's what there is to reconcile with. That's what's there is to surrender  to ... just because it's what happened. And what didn't happen is clearly not included in our lives as lived. It's this profound view that came over me on my birthday as I contemplated my 71 years on the planet.

This essay, Laurence Platt 71st Birthday, showcases the photograph and e-mail (both recreated below) I distributed to my close family and friends who celebrated with me today Tuesday June 8, 2021 (I was born in Southwark, London, England at 8:45pm BST - British Summer Time). With this sharing I'd like to include you as well.

Thank You for being open to the possibility of being included.


Laurence Platt 71st Birthday:

Surrender II


Photography by Anita Lynn Erhard - Napa, California, USA - 1:46:17pm PDT Tuesday June 8, 2021



Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More




Laurence Platt 71st Birthday:

Surrender II

Napa, California, USA

June 8, 2021


Dear Family and Friends,

Thank You for standing with me on my 71st birthday.

You asked how I'd celebrate. The day had a slate of conversations - Zoom, telephone, and face to face. There's nothing more worthwhile for me than being with you. All I see is you. You are the gift. That's the celebration.

Standing in 21 and looking ahead at 71, it seemed like an impossible mark, one I could never, ever reach. Now, standing in 71 and looking back at 21, it arrived in a flash. Time seems to move faster looking backward than looking forward.

Thank You for who You are for me and for People.

Thank You for being in my Life.

Thank You for all the years and miles of our Friendship.

With my Love and Respect,




Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2021 Permission



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2021 Permission