Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Invictus Soul...Unconquerable, Undefeated (Part Three)

 Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882 - 1945)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the 32nd President of the United States of America (POTUS), serving from 1933 until his sudden death on April 12, 1945. His time included the Second World War, rallying the USA, along with the Allied forces, to victory. He is the only POTUS ever to be elected four (4) times to office. And, the only one ever to serve three (3) full terms. He would have fully served the fourth, but for his sudden death, 11 weeks into it. He is often rated by scholars as one of the three greatest US Presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
"No democracy can long survive which does not accept as fundamental to its very existence the recognition of the rights of its minorities." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was born on January 30, 1882, to James and Sara Ann "Salie" Roosevelt, who were New York aristocrats. He attended Law school after graduating from Harvard College in 1903 and practiced law in New York City. He married Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905, and the couple went on to have six children. He was elected to the New York State Senate in 1910, then later served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. 
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) 
"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
FDR was stricken with polio in 1921. This left him permanently paralyzed on both legs and took him away from public office, as he pursued his healing. This was, however, to no avail. He refused to be deterred, as he returned to public office, contesting and winning the New York Governorship seat in 1928. He was in office as the 44th Governor of New York from 1929 to 1933. From here, he contested for the US Presidential election and won by a landslide.
"In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
FDR with son Elliot in France (1931)
He is the only President of the United States to have won an election and stood in the office with such disability. He was not one to allow a seeming disability, even polio stand in the way of his vision, dreams, aspirations, and goals. While others find excuses in their disability, he found strength. He was not focused on what he could not do. He focused on all he could. He stands out as one of the classic examples of leadership, in history. His predecessor, the 31st POTUS, Hebert Hoover, felt beaten by the great depression and had no answer for it. He was hoping on time to make things right on its own. FDR, himself, had no answer to the great depression but refused to be deterred. He took charge, doing all he could, and pulling on all the resources available.
"The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

Herbert Hoover’s disposition was, “there is nothing that can be done, other than allowing the markets correct themselves.” This was at the risk of increasing civil disobedience. Banks were closing down, with people losing jobs and their money. Herbert did not give the people something to believe in, or rally around. His very carriage and disposition were depressing, to say the least. It was one of a defeated person.
"There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
Men Drinking Soup During the Great Depression
FDR on the other hand, within the same period, was handling matters as the Governor of New York. Though, on a smaller scale, he was making a difference. He was not one to leave things to chance. His challenge in taking on the helm, has the president of the United States, was being able to replicate the initiatives he was already practicing in New York. And, that he did.
"Yes, we are on our way back—not just by pure chance, my friends, not just by a turn of the wheel, of the cycle. We are coming back more soundly than ever before because we are planning it that way. Don't let anybody tell you differently." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

FDR gave the people something they could rally around. He gave the people something they could believe in. Though he did not have the full answer to the great depression, he was not one to fold his hands and do nothing. Rather than leave things to chance, he took positive steps in turning the tide. He focused on doing all he could to alleviate the immediate challenge. He defined what leadership means.
"Let us not be afraid to help each other—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." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
FDR owes the biggest portion of his success to two women in his life – his mother (Sara Ann “Sallie” Delano Roosevelt) and his wife (Anna Eleanor Roosevelt). There would have been no Governor, or President Francis Delano Roosevelt without these two women. These two are the rock of all FDR was, especially after his polio infection.
"You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give." (Eleanor Roosevelt) 
"I call for effort, courage, sacrifice, devotion. Granting the love of freedom, all of these are possible. And the love of freedom is still fierce and steady in the nation today." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
So, what is your excuse for not actualizing your potentials? None! FDR actualized with his polio, not in spite of it. He did not live in denial. He allowed his experience to simmer through, but not conquer him. He allowed himself to be influenced by the positive stories - his own story, in line with his vision, dreams, goals, and aspiration. You too can do it. Go and be all God has endowed you to be. You have no excuse not to.


Links to Series:
The Invictus Soul...Unconquerable, Undefeated (Part Two)
The Invictus Soul...Unconquerable, Undefeated (Part Four)

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