This past week I’ve been reading some of FDR’s speeches, and a number of excerpts have stuck with me, especially the State of the Union addresses from 1941 and 1945. The most striking quote, though, was from a smaller speech given in 1935:
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina nor softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
Of course these words have plenty of political relevance today, but it’s a bit of a cop-out to use them simply for judge-y finger-pointing.
A harder question is, is this how I live my own life?
Somewhere around my third hour of delightful-yet-anaesthetizing Mary Tyler Moore reruns this week, it became clear that I love this idea more in theory than in practice. Turns out that true kindness, open and warm-hearted, sometimes takes more energy than I’m able to muster.
Thankfully, I’m well rested after that MTM marathon, and she and FDR have newly inspired me to work towards kindness within and without, in equal measure.
Dear Honeybees, whether you’re 70’s sitcom fans or not, I wish you a pocket of rest, to fuel your kindness and your strength.