Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Washington's First Inaugural Address

Taken from http://www.ushistory.org/ValleyForge/washington/inaugural.html:

At his first inauguration, George Washington took the oath of office for the presidency on April 30, 1789. He was standing on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City with his hand on an open Bible. After he finished taking the oath, the audience in attendance gave a thunderous ovation and bells of the various churches began ringing in his honor. After his oath of office was completed, he went to deliver his inaugural address to Congress.

"Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aide can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes; and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge.

In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States.

Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their United government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which them past seem to presage.

These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me I trust in thinking, that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free Government can more auspiciously commence.

We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps finally, staked of the experiment...

I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the Benign Parent of the Human Race, in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessings may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

There is Danger in Opportunity

There is a Chinese character that has a double meaning. The character means both danger and opportunity.

The other day I accidentally left my car keys in the ignition while filling up with gas. To make matters worse, I entered into the gas station. A guy with my background simply doesn't do that. Oops. Often crime is an opportunity. Keys in vehicle equals free vehicle to some.

Right after filling up I drove down the road to get a Subway sandwich for lunch. I parked, went inside (bringing my keys, of course), and ordered some grub. The lady ordering in front of me went to pay for her sandwich then realized she left her money in the car.

This was a dangerous opportunity for me. Why? Because I thought I should secretly pay for her sandwich while she was gone to her car, and I could have gotten caught! It was a non-crime of opportunity.

It's odd going out of your comfort zone, I guess that's why it's called a COMFORT zone. But I made a commitment to myself long ago that when my heart speaks, I'd not only only take good notes, but I'd go out of my way to ACT.

Serving others is pretty wonderful, especially when it can be done anonymously.

I'm quite older now, but when I paid for the lady's meal, I recalled my Eagle Scout days. The Boy Scout slogan is, "Do a good turn daily." It was nice to do a good deed. There might not always be old ladies to help cross the street, but occasionally there are opportunities--even dangerous ones. Those are the moments to seize.