Timely Words, Timeless Words

January 2020

Gerald L. Baliles, Virginia’s 65th governor who served from 1986-1990, passed away in October at age 79. During his governorship and his career as a lawyer and civic leader, he worked successfully, on a bipartisan basis, for improvements in areas that benefit all Virginians: education, transportation, economic development. His efforts on rural workforce development contributed to training opportunities such as Southside Virginia Community College’s Power Line Worker Training School.

A quarter-century ago, during New Year’s 1993-94, he attended a retreat and completed a writing assignment, which we publish below. His words are perhaps more relevant today than when he composed them.

As the state legislatures in Virginia and Maryland convene this month for their 2020 sessions, we thought our readers would enjoy Gov. Baliles’ thoughtful words. Near the end of his remarks, he writes that “the measure of life is not in its length, but in the length of its shadow.” May his words cast a powerful, positive shadow far into the future.

Richard G. Johnstone Jr., Executive Editor