2.22.2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Today is the day that we celebrate the birth of our first President, George Washington. As a child, I remember when President Lincoln (Feb. 12) and President Washington had their own special days of recognition, without being rolled into one day (Presidents' Day). Being the non-conformist that I am, I chose to ignore Presidents' Day and remember Feb. 12 and Feb. 22 as important days on the calendar.

Since February 12th fell on a Sunday this year (and I don't post on week-ends), I missed President Lincoln's birthday, so we're going to focus on him first. Did you know that I have something in common with ol' Honest Abe? We were both recipients of an education at home. I also have something else in common with our 16th president - we were both blessed to be raised by Godly mothers. I love the quote that is attributed to Abraham Lincoln,  in which he says:

“No man is poor who has a Godly mother.”

Amen to that, Mr. President.


In all honesty, I can't imagine being the President of the United States at any time, but I especially can't imagine the responsibility that George Washington must have felt as he waded into the uncharted waters of leading a new country. He showed much wisdom as he looked towards the future of the country and foresaw the challenges that we could face as a nation, including the growth of government and the lack of education about how the government should work. President Washington understood that men were fallible, easily overcome by power and the greed that can overtake a man who is given authority over others. About government, he said:

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence – it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master."

He also offered up a suggestion: train the next generation so that they may understand the principles on which this great country was founded; that they might protect the rights and freedoms that earlier generations enjoyed.

"A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?"

It's not too late to start listening to him.
 
Happy Birthday, to two of the great leaders of this country.

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