Monday, October 18, 2010

George Washington - Humility by the Greatest Character of the Age

My parents recently gave me a new book from the Smithsonian Institution, "Presidents, All You Need to Know" by Carter Smith.  I began by flipping to the back and re-reading George Washington's First Inaugural Address.  The beginning of his address is almost unimaginable in today's politics.  He essentially stated that he felt he was reluctant to become our first President, he was getting old and was ready for retirement, and was not certain he was ready for the task.  He asked that if he failed to meet their expectations, that the people remember that he took the office because he was called to duty by them and he loved his country.

Humility is a trait that is noticeably lacking in today's discourse.  Yet, here is the greatest character of the age (that was the phrase given to him by his nemesis King George III) publicly expressing self-doubt in his major address as President to the country which he was helped create more than any other.  Washington's public professions should be more carefully examined - and followed - by those who govern today.

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