Editorial – Gifts of God
If you were on the receiving end of the test of a newfangled invention called the telegraph, you would have decoded a series of dots and dashes that translated into the statement: "What God hath wrought." Those few words given to Samuel B. Morse by Anne Ellsworth, the young daughter of the Commissioner of Patents, carry with them an abundance of meaning and applications. There are many differences between human beings and all the creatures of the world. Being gifted by God with a consciousness and a heart to be used for the well being of all is perhaps the principle and most noble expression of these differences. All human creativity in whichever fields of endeavor he or she pursues and all the virtuousness of character of which human beings are capable must be directed to this end.
The highest nature of politics bears the essence of the point to be made. On January 9, 1961, President-elect John F. Kennedy, speaking before the Massachusetts legislature, expressed these thoughts on how a politician ought to measure success or failure:
First, were we truly men of courage – with courage to stand up to one's enemies - and courage to stand up when necessary to one's associates - the courage to resist public pressure as well as private greed?
Secondly, were we truly men of judgment – with perceptive judgment of the future as well as the past - of our mistakes as well as the mistakes of others - with enough wisdom to know what we did not know and enough candor to admit it?
Third were we truly men of integrity – men who never ran out on either the principles in which we believed or the men who believed in us - men whom neither financial gain nor political ambition would ever divert from the fulfillment of our sacred trust?
Finally, were we truly men of dedication – with our honor mortgaged to no single individual or group, and compromised to no private aim, but devoted solely to serving the public good and the national interest?
Courage – judgment – integrity – dedication – these are the historic qualities which with God's help… will characterize our Government's conduct in the 4 stormy years that lie ahead.
Amazing isn't it? How particularly applicable are these comments to the current needs of our country. No matter what the age, the human condition is colored by the requirement of promoting the best in human nature and of being aware of the effects of the worst. Cynicism of high-minded statements regarding humanity is an easy task, but in our frailties we can garner strength by stating, believing, and, with God's grace, becoming some manifestation of the high standards we seek to attain. We are the greatest thing that "God hath wrought" and how we respond to God's hopes for us is the measure of our success or failure as his people.