This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
~President Franklin D. Roosevelt
In recent weeks, I’ve been reading a lot of the rhetoric that shaped our nation. If you’re feeling down about the current political climate I would highly recommend it. It’s a great reminder of all the leaders who have worked tirelessly to make sure our country’s core beliefs and values are not easily undone.
From George Washington’s Farewell Address (which Stephanie discussed prior to Obama’s final speech as president) to Lincoln’s second inaugural speech and FDR’s first, our nation’s leaders’ lasting words are filled with hope.
Our history is not perfect. We’ve had to remind ourselves and our leaders at times what our country stands for.
Pursuing the American dream has always been a struggle, but with that struggle there has always been an undying optimism. We may get knocked down, but we won’t let that stop us from getting right back up and trying again. We’re not perfect, and we don’t pretend to be. The American Experiment is built on trial and error and improvement.
With a new administration, and policies that seem to conflict with the ideals and beliefs that our nation was built on there are a lot of unknowns. The past week has been a trial for many, but amidst the division and uncertainty we’ve seen ordinary Americans rise up to defend the American dream for themselves and for people they’ve never even met. Yes, it’s been troubling, but it’s also been inspiring. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that the American dream has never been easily attained, but is always worth fighting for.
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
~President Abraham Lincoln
…just for fun: