We should constantly be reminded of what we owe in return for what we have. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is, among other things, a former first lady of the United States. An active, outspoken woman in an era where women of this sort were rare, she remains a towering figure in American history.
Today’s thought is particularly relevant in today’s divided America.
Now, America has always been divided, make no mistake about that. Liberty in this country was originally was reserved for white, landowning males, obliging everyone else to fight tooth and nail for every gain.
It is difficult, however, to imagine an America that is more partisan, fractured and bickering than the America we have today. It is a good time to reflect on what we have and what we owe ourselves and our country.
What we have: citizenship in a country where what we get out of life is largely dependent on the work we put into it.
Even those of us who, materially, at least, might not seem to have much in fact have a lot: 24 hours every day to make something good happen for ourselves. Those 24 hours are our most prized possession, the only commodity each of us is issued in equal measure. This provides us with one of life’s great prizes: the opportunity to say “this is what I am today and this, this is what I am going to be tomorrow”, a quote we stole from Louis L’Amour.
What we owe: vigilance in how we are governed. This doesn’t mean steadfast constancy to this political philosophy or that one. It means being a demanding and participating citizen, a citizen that holds its leaders responsible. Let’s be honest, America doesn’t have that right now, because we keep electing leaders that provide the partisan, fractured and bickering government we have now.
We should constantly be reminded of what we owe…
As citizens, we must get involved. We must decide we deserve better and then go and do something about it. We must tell ourselves as a nation we might be this today, but this is what America will be tomorrow.
We have a collective responsibility to do just that. We cannot expect anything more out of ourselves, but we must demand nothing less.
The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s own private stock.