President Franklin D. Roosevelt is remembered for many great achievements. During a very difficult time in this country and indeed, the world, FDR used his power of optimism to raise the hopes of millions of people. For that, we should all be grateful.
“Faced with the Great Depression and World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt, nicknamed “FDR,” guided America through its greatest domestic crisis, with the exception of the Civil War, and its greatest foreign crisis. Roosevelt’s combination of confidence, optimism, and political savvy—all of which came together in the experimental economic and social programs of the “New Deal”—helped bring about the beginnings of a national recovery.
Under Roosevelt’s leadership, the United States emerged from World War II as the world’s foremost economic, political, and military power. FDR’s contributions to domestic life during his presidency were just as vital. While his “New Deal” did not end the Great Depression, Roosevelt’s leadership gave Americans hope and confidence in their darkest hours and fundamentally reshaped the relationship between the federal government and the American people.” – William E. Leuchtenburg, Professor Emeritus of History, University of North Carolina
In his first inaugural address, FDR famously said:
“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. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt was a remarkable leader because he was an optimist and, he was a diplomat. He was able to unify the American people through words and deeds that were centered around confidence-building, optimism and a general sense of faith and positivity. Regardless of political ideology, even his staunchest critics had to admit that he was the breath of fresh air the world so desperately needed.
This really isn’t about FDR, per se. What this is about, is a need for all of us — Americans and people of all national identities — to shake-off the shackles of negativity and once again embrace positivity. To let go of anger, fear, jealousy, greed and hubris, and in their place, let hope, faith, optimism and peace take root.
I recently read a beautiful piece by Christopher D. Larson called “Promise Yourself” and it so inspired me, I wanted to share it with our readers. When reading these sage words, let them sink in — absorb them and really think about them with a sense of purpose.
To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
Today, promise yourself to be the best person you can be. Promise yourself to be happy, positive, kind, grateful and filled with hope.