Editors' pick

Something for the POTUS

I don’t know if Donald Trump reads USA TODAY.

The back page of the first section of the 2/13/18 issue caught my attention.

Someone named Tom Blair took out a full page ad entitled “Mr. President,” with the subheading: “In anticipation of Presidents’ Day (February 19) consider the following words of counsel and caution:”

Mr. Blair goes on in a respectful manner to list over 50 quotations from notable individuals, including many ex-Presidents. Not all are, in my opinion, equally memorable, but there are enough that I’d like to share some of the list, in case you missed the ad. While intended for our POTUS, some may resonate with you as they did with me.

Love him or hate him (one thing about our current POTUS: he does not seem to engender neutrality), think he’s doing a terrible or wonderful job, hope he gets impeached or goes on to be elected to a 2nd term in office — these quotes are thought-provoking at worst, inspiring at best. Some I’d not encountered before.

Forthwith, 20 of the best, listed as they appear in print:

  1. Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel in order to be tough.
  • Pres. Franklin Roosevelt

2. Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts.

  • Pres. John Adams

3. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

  • Pres. Harry Truman

4. I would rather the man who presents something for my consideration subject me to a zephyr of truth and a gentle breeze of responsibility rather than blow me down with a curtain of hot wind.

  • Pres. Grover Cleveland

5. How can we love our country, and not also love our countrymen?

  • Pres. Ronald Reagan

6. One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat.

  • Pres. Woodrow Wilson

7. This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in if it is not a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.

  • Pres. Theodore Roosevelt

8. Too often… we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

  • Pres. John Kennedy

9. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

10. Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.

  • Pres. George Washington

11. People who boast their IQs are losers.

  • Stephen Hawking

12. When you single out any particular group of people for secondary citizenship status, that’s a violation of basic human rights.

  • Pres. Jimmy Carter

13. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

  • Pres. Franklin Roosevelt

14. A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

  • Pres. Dwight Eisenhower

15. Honesty is the 1st chapter in the book of wisdom.

  • Pres. Thomas Jefferson

16. It is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones.

  • Pres. George Washington

17. No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.

  • Pres. Abraham Lincoln

18. I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.

  • Pres. Woodrow Wilson

19. We don’t want an America that is closed to the world. What we want is a world that is open to America.

  • Pres. George H.W. Bush

20. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

Curiously, and perhaps tellingly, I find none of these quotations address the issue of making America great again.

Could it be that greatness comes from within, and the less said about it the better?

It seems to me the truly great — whether in arts or sciences, sports or entertainment, or some other endeavor — are usually humble. They recognize that, in addition to their own efforts, they have often been the recipients of largesse on the part of Someone or something greater than themselves.

Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and physicist and one of the most influential scientists of all time, said that he had merely stood on the shoulders of some of the greats who had come before him. He had built on the foundation they had laid.

Might it be that the lowly ant (“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise” — Proverbs 6:6), not known for blowing its own horn — pardon; waving its own antenna — will be, in the hereafter, considered as great as the gorilla, known for thumping its own chest but not mentioned at all in Holy Writ?

Source link
Back to top button
Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!