Franklin D. RooseveltPosted on May 8th at 11:42 am
“Confidence…thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.” It could be said that Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived his life through his definition of confidence.
At the age of 39, he contracted polio, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. FDR refused to accept the permanence of his paralysis, trying a vast range of therapies. He painstakingly pushed himself to learn to walk feeling it was critical to improve his condition as not to lose the American people’s faith in his abilities to serve in public office and ultimately attain his lofty goal of becoming President of the United States.
Oliver Wendell Holmes called FDR, “a second-class intellect, but a first class temperament.” Though shared by many, that opinion never deterred FDR from his ambitions. He was elected president in 1933 during the worst depression in U.S. history. With persistent optimism he led the United States out of the depths of despair, instituting the New Deal aimed to produce “relief, recovery & reform.” Over the course of his Presidency, FDR never wavered in his positive attitude whatever obstacles befell him. He built unprecedented national unity in times of crisis and led America’s courageous fight to secure Allied victory in World War II. Winston Churchill, another great man largely underestimated in his own time, said of Roosevelt, “Meeting him was like opening a bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.”
The longest serving president in U.S. history, Roosevelt is widely touted today as one of the top three presidents of all time, a leader whose confidence, once dismissed as arrogance, thrived on his principles and service to his country.
His was an investment in a life of uncompromising commitment.