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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Live Up to Our Children’s Expectations

The recent tragedy in Arizona provides a sobering beginning to our new year.

An old Chinese proverb suggests that a crisis offers both danger and opportunity. The danger is for us to stoke the fires of enmity by pointing fingers and raising the din of anger. The opportunity was eloquently illuminated by President Obama in his recent speech at the memorial in Tucson.

While I hope all of you heard the President’s remarks, it is worth repeating a small portion that can encourage all of us to work harder, do better.

The President shared, “I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us. That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed…. I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”

It was in 1961 when President Kennedy challenged all of us to, “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.” This has been a clarion call I have held close for 50 years. Now, yet another tragedy challenges the very best in every one of us and the President has shone a light on a healing path lest we be torn apart. It is a time for us to navigate these troubled times TOGETHER!

Much like the many teachable moments we experience in the Lifeplan program, recent events offer us all an important teachable moment. One of the things we share in Lifeplan is that “stuff happens” or speed bumps occur. It’s how you respond to them that will define the character of your life.

And so it is for our country now. How do we respond as a nation? The President has provided an illuminated path that is worthy of our deepest and most sincere consideration.

I know all of us have held the Arizona victims and their families in our prayers. I also pray for the character of America to shine in the days, weeks, and years ahead as we find a way to grow from this event.

All the best,


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