Strength is not optional

“In every dark hour of our lives a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.” ~(March 4th 1933) – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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I love listening to the speeches of old.  This one, the inaugural address in 1933, is one of my favorites.   The outlook was dim.  People were starving, poor, and their hopes were shrinking.  I loved how Mr. Roosevelt asserted his firm belief that the “only thing we have to fear is FEAR itself!”  I love that he mentions God, and that he says that the problem is the lack of only material things. 

Mr. Roosevelt goes on to say that “plenty” is at our doorstep.  I love these words.  I love that he implored the nation to face the troubles and not retreat.  It was a hard, terrible time.  But our country’s leader was strong.  Strength is never optional in this life, I have discovered.  Though panic seizes us, fear tries to paralyze us, we must press on. 

My favorite line is this one:  “These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.”   That’s it in a nutshell. 

Become a servant and Live!  

 

Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, as published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random House, 1938), 11–16.

 

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