Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

I decided I needed reminding of some timeless words that I used to visit more frequently.

There is value in good words spoken by thoughtful people hoping to have a positive impact on humankind.

We are bombarded with so much meaningless and needless noise today. Many with influence are saying and doing things that are demoralizing and demeaning to our country and the world. The examples of the worst of our human impulses are routinely printed above the fold, not the examples of the best of us.

When I sit down to ponder our current world, now more than ever I need to actively seek reminders of individuals who inspired and wanted to lead forward. Too many today want to take steps backward, and feel the only way to do that is to diminish rather than elevate. I prefer inspiration. Hopefully, most of us do, and will remember many who offered inspiration and hope for a better future for all.

I wanted to share a few thoughts that get me through these trying times.

• Eleanor Roosevelt: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

• Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

• Theodore Roosevelt: “The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency.”

• Winston Churchill: “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

• Franklin D. Roosevelt: “True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

• Indira Gandhi: “There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.”

• John F. Kennedy: “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

• Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.”

• George Washington: “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.”

• Billings Learned Hand: “You may ask what then will become of the fundamental principles of equity and fair play which our constitutions enshrine; and whether I seriously believe that unsupported they will serve merely as counsels of moderation. I do not think that anyone can say what will be left of those principles. I do not know whether they will serve only as counsels; but this much I think I do know – that a society so riven that the spirit of moderation is gone, no court can save; that a society where that spirit flourishes, no court need save; that in a society which evades its responsibility by thrusting upon the courts the nurture of that spirit, that spirit in the end will perish.”

We need to remember there have been people who understood what was at stake for the survival of humanity and the survival of our experiment with the idea of a democratic republic. We need inspirational individuals leading the way again. I hope they are listening and will stand up.

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (