Wisdom and Truth From the Past

Bill Abbate

This is the third in a series of articles where we will look at profound quotes from the past about country, patriotism, and politics. As with previous articles, the following quotes possess tremendous wisdom from some incredibly insightful people.

With each quote, I share a few words to bring them into today. As always, the quotes are from the past, with no living authors referenced.

An unparalleled nation

A man of many talents, he was a founding father, statesman, diplomat, philosopher, and the fourth president of the United States, serving from 1809 to 1817. He is often called the "Father of the Constitution" for his role in drafting the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. He also co-wrote The Federalist Papers and co-founded the Democratic-Republican Party. To say he was an accomplished person is an understatement.

"Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society." James Madison (1751-1836)

As a man of great bravery, knowledge, and wisdom, his words ring true to this day. America remains the most successful constitutional representative republic in world history. So long as America remains "the land of the free and the home of the brave," it will retain the status of an unparalleled nation in the annals of human society.

Home and school

Did you know that only about 100 years ago, all women in the United States could not vote? This was true until the 19th amendment passed in 1920. Unimaginable today, it was a reality of life early in the last century.

As an important figure in the women's suffrage (voting rights) movement and social work in America, she won the Noble Peace Prize in 1931 and is a voice of authority in American history.

"America's future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live." Jane Addams (1860-1935)

Her words still ring true today, do they not? The deterioration of the family is a major concern, as is the continued infiltration of political doctrine into our school and university systems. Great care is required to protect the family and not to propagandize our educational systems. Only then can the generations that follow us have a bright future.

Government corruption

Many times wisdom comes from outsiders, as we can be too close to see the truth within. Read what an influential French politician and philosopher had to say about our republic.

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

His words have unfortunately come true, as for many decades Congress has deployed this tactic. The bribes seem to grow with most new administrations. Will they ever end, or will we go over the cliff of no return.

Fortunately, our republic can be self-correcting; however, if it does not, the fate Tocqueville predicts may one day be ours.

Great days ahead

A highly accomplished journalist, author, and poet, he expresses optimism in his belief in America in the following words. They are words of hope so needed in this age of pandemics and the associated costs to our freedom.

"I see America, not in the setting sun of a black night of despair ahead of us, I see America in the crimson light of a rising sun fresh from the burning, creative hand of God. I see great days ahead, great days possible to men and women of will and vision." Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

America will certainly overcome every obstacle it encounters, not because of government but because of its people. May America not only survive but thrive with many great days ahead!

Final thoughts

Despite all of the political bantering and negativity from the press, there is hope for America. Our hope lies not in politicians, not in the press, or any other establishment. Our hope lies only in "We the people of the United States."

We must always heed the words of warning from our 16th president, one of the wisest men in American History:

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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