My Philosophy of Life
Philosophy of R. M. Lamb - To work hard and strive to achieve the highest standards by dint of ardour glowing.
To sum it up in a few words Biblical “He who wants to save his life in this life will lose it in the next – he who loses his life in this world for Christ’s sake will keep it in the next”. That is the essence of my philosophy. Yet I do not take it literally, but imaginatively.
2. How do I apply these words?
By my conduct as an advocate in the legal and writing spheres. I seek to submerge myself in whatever I have done and do – in effect “to lose myself” in all my activities legal, professional and literary. What matters to me is not my own persona but the product of myself and my life work. I am not a self-conscious person plainly.
3. The subconscious in my life
This is an essential element in my philosophy as I am driven forward by those who have gone before me, Catholic and Anglican, family and friends. It is this subconscious spirit within me which directs me. Truly I belong to Jesus Christ. In Catholic thinking the subconscious has always been fundamental if not stressed as much post Vatican II
4. What is my driving force?
This has to be my overt professional life and my overriding and eager desire to advocate and persuade. I am built this way and will never lose this brightness, so long as there is real vigour in my soul. I could be abrasive and strident in pursuit of my goal, I do not deny it but I am now truly effective in my balance and impartiality. I strike the target hard and sure because I am precise. Precision and succinctness is the essence of the polemicist. I do not lack those attributes. Yes I do have an argument to put forward and that is the way I reach the drop zone.
5. My attitude to adversity
Simply move on to the next task. Never feel sorry for yourself or dwell on your misfortunes. Do not become a stick in the mud. Have the enthusiasm for life’s next challenge. Life surprises us – as one Priest (Gerard Hughes) put it “The God of Surprises” (his book title). Even bad outcomes can be transformed in to good and positive ones.
6. What is the part of religion in all of this?
Everyman needs religion, philosophy of life and metier. The three go together and are vital to the life of a believer. My religion is Catholicism, which goes back to the time of Christ and my metier of advocacy is a very old profession. My philosophy of life which I have worked out for myself, from my religion and profession, gives meaning to everything about me. I would have no raison d’etre without these three aspects of my life and their channelling of inspiration into my public life. I live to be public and the Catholic religion may never hide away. It always exposes and brings us into the open through the overwhelming power of the sacraments to elucidate Christ in our lives. The result is a public professional life for R.M. Lamb esq. built on the spoken word and written word and secondly on my acknowledged Catholicism which drives forward, by zeal this advocacy of mine. There can be no true advocacy for R.M. Lamb without Catholicism. For several the same applies - their religion comes to life in the public life of themselves: the believer and exponent. I am no Prophet or Priest.
7. What is the role of education in my formation?
Absolutely crucial. My education from 10 years to 23 years saved my bacon and set me up for a very fulfilling life. Life is meant to be worthwhile but cannot be so without the inspiring lives and words and examples of our educators. I owe a great debt to those who formed me, men and women. It is not the explicit that counts (yet even some things have to be explicit on occasion) but the living alongside our teachers as I did 10 years to 17 years. Slowly but surely the message was learned and applied in my later life.
8. What is my strategy?
To go to the limits of my capacity to deliver the goods and beyond. Of course humility and charity have to be in the centre of my being. There can be no Christian man truly pursuing his career who is not prepared to be meek in all the shapes and forms of that virtue. Pure ambition will overreach itself and illness attends it as Shakespeare tells us (Lady Macbeth to her Lord). Charity, much misunderstood, is staring us in the face wherever we look and I don’t mean Cafod and Oxfam. I mean a much more controlled and direct charity that proceeds from one heart to another. It does not matter how many cases you win if you lack charity you will be nothing. Charity puts all my advocate’s life in the shade. Saint Francis donned his Friar’s habit and went for the charitable jackpot and won. I confess my charity does not reach his standard – but I do not deny my ambition at one time briefly was to emulate him.
It does no harm to look up to men and women in life, be they dead or alive. I have done so and I also have been derogatory, on occasion in private. The philosophy I have espoused has been sincerity, openness and honesty. Even in the Court Room as a criminal Barrister I would reveal facts detrimental to my client’s case in the cause of sincerity to the Jury. I was no play actor and put the truth above all parties: Judges and etiquette. But charity is greater than the truth as Saint Paul says: it bears all things. I ask Saint Francis to plead for me before my creator at the Judgement seat – I a Friar Franciscan manqué and now an essayist par excellence, if I may make so bold to say.