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Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday Motivator: A Nation's Strength

On this day marking the 235th year of American Independence we will celebrate in ways both reverent and inconsiderate, grateful and thankless, cognizant and obtuse. All of these are our wont and our right as Americans, but I would encourage everyone to spend at least a little time today focusing on the former quality in each of the above pairings as it is perhaps the best way to ensure that this country can enjoy another two centuries of the same.

A Nation's Strength
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.

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