Monthly Archives: November 2007

Lincoln on Thanksgiving

By Ronald Court

“It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year…to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps, and our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual health.

“He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of our working men in every department of industry with abundant rewards.

“Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage and resolution sufficient for the great trial … into which we have been brought by cause of freedom and humanity …

“Now, therefore, I …. do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may be then, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the universe.

“And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.”
(with thanks to Geoffrey Norman at VermontTiger.com)

Sticks & Stones

By Ronald Court

I let no man drag me down so low
as to make me hate him.

BTW’s signature

It seems that especially lately, a lot of people have gotten upset over the “n—” word. It is a reprehensible word. But the recent incidences brought to mind a response I was taught as a child. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That’s not entirely true, of course, for words can hurt… and also heal when said sincerely.
Why do some words cause our blood to boil, and others cause us to collapse in laughter or weep in joy? How did they get to wield such power over us? I believe the answer’s simple, if uncomfortable. It’s because we let them. We forfeit our own personal power over our emotions.

Easier said than done, I’ll admit. I’m sometimes offended, but it’s because I let someone get to me.. It’s not business. It’s personal.

“Sticks & stones” serves as a first line of defense to give us time to get back control of our emotions.

“I let no man drag me down so low as to hate him.” Booker T. gives not one inch in those words. And what character… showing that love overcomes all. What CharacterPower.

Mt. Vernon

By Ronald Court

I hope the BTW Ambassador Scholarship students, parents and teacher/mentors the Society brought to Washington from New Orleans this April watched the news tonight reporting on the Presidents of the United States and of France touring George Washington’s Mt. Vernon estate. It reminded me of the evening the Society treated them to dinner at Mt. Vernon and a special evening tour of its museum.

Actually, we had booked a special private evening tour of George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home for them, but were “preempted” at the last minute by Nick Cage and his Hollywood film company shooting scenes to a sequel to “National Treasure,” their film about stealing the Declaration of Independence in order to preserve it.

2 BTW Ambassadors at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Estate Museum‘/>

Still, the museum was opened up for our group to tour and view an exciting multi-media presentation of the independence of our country. In a way, there are two “Fathers of our Country,” both born Virginians, both named Washington and both inspired millions to become independent.

Inasmuch as all our BTW Ambassador students this year were from New Orleans, a city founded by the French, perhaps having walked the same grounds as the Presidents of the US and of France at Mt. Vernon will hold special meaning for them. I hope so.