The 4th of July is just around the corner (can you believe it?!) so I've been thinking about all of the fun, food, and fireworks that represent our nation's independence. Last year my parents came down to Philadelphia to celebrate in the city where it all began, and we had a really great time! Since there is such a rich history leading back to the founding of our nation, the 4th is a pretty big deal in Philly. A lot of tourists come to the city to take tours of Independence Hall and the Constitution Center...and what trip to Philadelphia would be complete without seeing the Liberty Bell? (Admission, by the way, is free on the 4th. Just in case you were thinking of visiting!)
I often wonder what Ben Franklin and George Washington would say about our government these days. Would they be proud of how we've carried on, or would they be unhappy with how we've handled the last 234 years? Politics has always been a rather complicated matter, especially back then when we were fighting to establish our own policies. But today, I feel as if things are a million times more complex, and sometimes I think our elected officials must be crazy to run as a candidate for election. There are so many policies, rules and regulations to deal with, so it takes a really special kind of person to be able to handle it all. Our current Commander in Chief has certainly had to deal with a lot since the beginning of his presidency with the war, the economy, immigration issues, the oil spill....ugh, I'm just glad I don't have his job.
One thing that I think our past presidents would be really proud of is that our current officials really take the time to go back into our rich history and look to there for inspiration and guidance. I think it's pretty cool that Obama used Abe Lincoln's bible when he was sworn in and often refers to him in his speeches. Lincoln is known for being one of our most forward-moving and progressive presidents, so there's good reason for his name to live on in history books. He gave a lot of incredible speeches and helped our nation unite as one. It should be no surprise that his words have been quoted for centuries now, and though I have a whole list of some of his best, this one sits at the top.
Whatever you are, be a good one. -Abraham LincolnShort and to the point, but very effective. This is such a great one because Abe knew that it doesn't matter what you do, it matters how you do it. You can be a baker, a lawyer, a delivery person, a baby-sitter, a student, a nurse, a teacher, a writer, a garbage man, or you can be nothing at all. But whatever you choose to do, do it well. Make sure you're good at what you do and don't stop reaching for the top until you've well surpassed it. When you believe you're "a good one", you can be confident in what you're doing and always strive to do the best you can. When that happens, you can enjoy what you're doing and it will make work seem less like "work".
So in the spirit of Independence Day, take some time to look into the past and learn a thing or two from those who helped us become the great nation we are today. And remember, whatever you are, be a good one.
Come back tomorrow for my big announcement- I'll let you know about my exciting plans and give you a chance to be featured in a future Optimal Optimist post!