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!