A Shy Person’s Words of Wisdom

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Are any of your children shy? When our younger daughter was little, she used to hide behind my skirt when grownups from church talked to her. I assure you that this can change. Our younger daughter is Mary Evelyn, who recently portrayed Grace Coolidge at the Coolidge Centennial celebration in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, in early August.

Calvin Coolidge was shy, too. This is what he said about his shyness:

When I was a little fellow, as long as I can remember, I would go into a panic if I heard strange voices in the house. I felt I just couldn’t meet people, and shake hands with them. Most of the visitors would sit with Mother and Father in the kitchen, and it was the hardest thing in the world to have to go through the kitchen door and give them a greeting. I was almost ten before I realized I couldn’t go on that way. And by fighting hard I used to manage to get through that door. I’m all right with old friends, but every time I meet a stranger, I’ve got to go through the old kitchen door, back home, and it’s not easy.

That decision when he was ten years old changed his life. Though a man of few words, he left words of wisdom that our country needs to hear today.

About Government and Politics

There can be no national greatness which does not rest upon the personal integrity of the people.

So much emphasis has been put upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service.

About the Dangers of Too Much Governmental Power

Communism will fail because what it attempts is against human nature. No man will provide me with food and other necessities of life unless he is a gainer by it in some way.

About Abiding Principles

Some principles are so constant and so obvious that we do not need to change them, but we need rather to observe them.

About Educating Children

A trained intelligence can do much, but there is no substitute for morality, character, and religious convictions. Unless these abide, American citizenship will be found unequal to its task.

The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Proverbs 4:7

He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.
Proverbs 15:31-33

The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Proverbs 18:15

To read Charlene’s entire series on Calvin Coolidge, click here.


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