The last two posts do not simply highlight two great leaders. These posts are meant to suggest what great leadership has in common: a firm grip on reality; a devotion to decency as the underpinning of civilization; and a faith in the willingness of people to adapt, or to sacrifice, their lives if necessary, when they understand it is essential.
We have done this in wartime. And it’s wartime again. We have received our marching orders: SHELTER IN PLACE if you can. We know these orders to be right, rational, and effective. Ignoring these orders exposes our communities, small and large, to grave danger.
Our real job is to shelter in place with a minimum of complaint. Being bored is irrelevant. Ignoring reality is dangerous. Placing one’s own immediate interests above those of the community is short-sighted in the extreme.
And if you are one of those who cannot shelter in place, because you are caring for the rest of us, you deserve honor and high praise. Thank you. ______________________________________________________________
WordPressers know by now that my vision of community extends to the planet: the plants, animals, air, and water which sustain us, the human community. Our health and well-being flourish in tandem with theirs. In renewing my passport, I noticed it includes several special quotations. Here are three:
We send thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are glad they are still here and we hope it will always be so.
Excerpt from the Thanksgiving Address, Mohawk version*
Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.
Dwight D. Eisenhower**
The principle of free governments adheres to the American soil. It is embedded in it, immovable as its mountains.
**Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United States from 1953 – 1961. He served as Supreme Commander of Allied forces in World War II. Quite possibly no one else could have done the job. Eisenhower well deserves the description “statesman”. Possibly under-rated at the time as president, Eisenhower is getting a fresh look. His words speak for themselves. I am beginning to read his papers.
***Webster is also described in histories as an American “statesman”. One seldom hears that word anymore. Now we have politicians, but few deserve the more august title. I can think of several stateswomen, however.