Sunday Thoughts (Life advice from presidents past)

We’re just a few days away from Election Day. And if you haven’t voted by now (I get to vote early here in Florida, so that’s done for me), be sure to make a plan and vote.

It’s your good fortune to live in a democracy where you have a voice – and a vote. Use it.

But as we consider who the next president will be, I spent a little time looking through what past presidents have said.

And (not surprisingly), they’ve said a lot of interesting and useful things.

It’s striking to me how some folks can rise to the ultimate power in our country, but still show humility, grace and wisdom – and be willing to share it.

Like our first president, George Washington. He even wrote a guide on how to be civil and decent.

And he summed it up perfectly in just a few words: “Think before you speak.”

Imagine if more people did that these days, before firing off a hasty email or shouting down someone they disagree with.

Even if you’re in a position of power, there’s always someone who’s smarter than you, or can see things differently.

Presidents like Dwight Eisenhower weren’t intimidated by that. He for one embraced it. 

He said, “Always try to associate yourself with and learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do.” 

He went on to say (and this is my favorite part), “Remember, ‘I don’t know’ is one of the smartest things you can say, and once you do, you can find the experts you need.”

Pretty good advice. I don’t care how smart you are, you don’t know everything. It’s ok to admit that. (Karen reminds me of this quite a bit, actually.)

And this advice has stuck with me through the years, from Andrew Jackson. (He didn’t tell me directly, but you get the idea.)

When it comes to making hard decisions, he said this: “Take time to deliberate. But when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” 

We could all follow that advice. Too often we struggle with things in our lives and never take the time to get moving on the path forward. 

So think it over, then get going on DOING it. I like it!

And to that end, Calvin Coolidge also had some wise words to live by, which can fit almost any situation, from your health to your career and more. 

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.” 

He means that determination and sticking to your goals are more powerful than talent, or even intelligence. 

If you’re determined to get better, that’s the most important thing of all.

And aren’t we all determined to get better? 

Some things to think about as the weekend comes to a close. 

Stay safe out there. And be sure to vote!

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K Charleston - October 27, 2020

Thank you so much for your reasoned comments and thoughtful approach. Your positive influence is very much appreciated in these divisive times. As a new customer, I really appreciate the sentiments you have expressed and am encouraged that I can continue to do business with 4Patriots without feeling your company is aligned with any politicized exclusive viewpoint.


Sharon Jean Anderson - October 26, 2020

I enjoy reading your ideas and encouragements for the USA. I believe what happens in the up coming election affects people worldwide. We live north of your Country in Canada, therefore we do not vote in the upcoming election. I do hold your President Trump and his family up in daily prayer and believe that he is the best President holding that office in my memory. At my age - I recall the ending of the Second World War, I was around 3 to 4 years young. I have witnessed many, many Presidents over the years and I have found President Trump second to none.
Yes, he has a very strong personality and some folk find that offensive – yet he is God’s man for this hour.

James - October 26, 2020

Nice “Food for Thought” article, but it’s funny how so many people make the mistake saying we “live in a democracy” when we actually live in a “Republic”… or at least we used to.

Of course, if the now-admitted CHEATER can commit enough voter fraud, we’ll be living in Hell.


Nancy Hicks - October 26, 2020

thank you for this wisdom, well stated.

Cheryl Walters - October 26, 2020

Thanks for sharing your Sunday Thoughts… great selection of quotes from Presidents Past. Had to forward this to my grandson to be!

Shireen Scott - October 26, 2020

I voted early and what comes to mind is I love and respect and have friends on both sides of the isle and my train of influence for me is that as a Christian I take note that God uses imperfect people to do his bidding in probably ever case! I pondered that and realized People don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be willing and available! Lessons pondered by me!!

Nancy V Epley - October 26, 2020

I thought your Sunday message was well done and timely.

Bobby Moss - October 26, 2020

as I read your sunday comments it made me think that our mouths get us in more trouble than anything we have we hardly ever think about what we going to say it just jumps out. I know I am not the smartest cookie in the jar but after 65 years I hope I am a little bit wiser we all can learn from each other if we will take the time to listen I was listening to a song last night and some of the words said we can listen as good as we can hear we all need to do that more often. thanks and may God bless

Paula - October 26, 2020

WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE! Well repeated. Thank you Jeff.

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