Two years and four months ago I had congestive heart failure, came minutes from dying and subsequently had an aortic valve replacement. Depression can be a side effect of a major heart event, but my depression didn’t kick in until November 9, 2016, when the United States Presidential election was called for Donald J. Trump.
In the early hours of that morning, I pulled my plush cat down off the shelf and finally gave it a name. Roosevelt. My sister gave me the cat after my open-heart surgery to hold next to my chest to protect my broken breast bone. (Ugh. Way too much alliteration there. Let’s change that to surgically cracked sternum, shall we?) I had never used it to comfort myself before, but since that dark day in November, I clutch Roosevelt every night and silently beg him to save us all. Which is a bit ridiculous considering he’s a plush cat and not a true hero like Deadpool.
But maybe it’s not so ridiculous. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is ranked the third best President by most United States historians. As I toss and turn worrying about nuclear war, out-of-control racism, losing my health care and climate change, I squeeze Roosevelt and ask him to hit me with some inspiration and hope. He always does.
We all know what the current President is capable of verbally spewing, but this is meant to be positive so there will be no side-by-side comparison.
I hope Roosevelt’s words will uplift the spirits of anyone who reads them.
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.
Repetition does not transform a lie into truth.
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.
The whole world is one neighborhood.
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.