05 October 2007

Freedom TM

My Dad, who, for those who don't already know, is a retired Methodist minister, sends out a daily "devotional" email to the whole family. In today's missive he included the following:

Kahlil Gibran was a Christian poet, philosopher, artist, prophet and writer from Lebanon who lived and did much of his writing in America.. You may be familiar with his book, The PROPHET. The following quotation is one which would-be candidates of today could do well to emulate.

“Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a Zealous one asking what you can do for your country?”--Kahlil Gibran, 1883-1931, from The New Frontier, an article by Gibran.

President Jon F. Kennedy adapted the quotation as the conclusion of his “Inaugural Address”, January 20. 1961. “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

Unfortunately, in today's world that last bit needs to be altered to read "ask not what America will do to you, but what we will do to the freedom of man."

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