Lessons from Lee

Today the state of Georgia celebrates the 200th birthday of Robert E. Lee. A few interesting pieces of trivia:

– He was indicted for treason after the war but was spared prosecution when Grant threatened to resign if the government didn’t honor the pardon he promised Lee at Appomattox.

– Lee was, indeed, a man of many contradictions. Born into the Virginia gentry, he owned slaves yet denounced slavery. He swore an oath to defend the United States as an Army officer, yet took up arms against it. He became a central figure in the Lost Cause mythology that spread across the South after the war, yet showed little patience for those who obsessed with the late unpleasantness.

– Invited to join an effort to build memorials at Gettysburg, he declined and said it would be better “not to keep open the sores of war.”

Indeed, after the war,

“He refused to fight a guerrilla war,” says Holt Merchant, a historian at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., where Lee became president after the war. “To me, that’s one of his greatest achievements: He accepted defeat and tried to reconcile the country.”

Reconcile and restore the nation. Put The Nation before any defeat you have suffered. Put America before any internalized personal agenda. Put The Nation before any attempts to discredit the President, current administration or it’s policies abroad. Put America and the people that made it great before any political process that further diminishes the reputation of being “a beacon of hope” to the world.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

George Washington called this great nation and it’s Constitution “The Arduous Trust”. Shall we break it apart….?

arduous:
–adjective
1. requiring great exertion; laborious; difficult: an arduous undertaking.
2. requiring or using much energy and vigor; strenuous: making an arduous effort.
3. hard to climb; steep: an arduous path up the hill.
4. hard to endure; full of hardships; severe: an arduous winter.

trust:
–noun
1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. confident expectation of something; hope.
3. confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.
4. a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
5. the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.
6. the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed: a position of trust.
7. charge, custody, or care: to leave valuables in someone’s trust.
8. something committed or entrusted to one’s care for use or safekeeping, as an office, duty, or the like; responsibility; charge.
9. Law.
a. a fiduciary relationship in which one person (the trustee) holds the title to property (the trust estate or trust property) for the benefit of another (the beneficiary).
b. the property or funds so held.

Hmmm….

Wise words and lessons from two great Americans that our current Congress would be wise to heed.

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