Monday, February 15, 2010

A Prayer for President's Day

Harry S. Truman had a favorite prayer, one he said often from his boyhood days to his presidency and after. It provides a glimpse of his character and profound faith:

"O Almighty and Everlasting God, Creator of heaven, earth and the universe: Help me to be, to think, to act what is right because it is right; make me truthful, honest and honorable in all things; make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me. Give me the ability to be charitable, forgiving and patient with my fellow men; help me to understand their motives and their shortcomings even as Thou understandest mine."

On a penciled memo on White House stationery, dated August 15, 1950, Truman wrote of that prayer:

"This prayer has been said by me - Harry S. Truman - from high school days, as window washer, bottle duster, floor scrubber in an Independence drugstore, as timekeeper on a railroad contract gang, as an employee of a newspaper, as a bank clerk, as a farmer riding a gang plow behind four horses and mules, as a fraternity official learning to say nothing at all if good could not be said of man, as a public official judging the weaknesses and shortcomings of constituents, and as President of the United States of America."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

John McCallum said...

Thanks, Drew. Harry Truman is one of my top 5 presidents of our history. I recommend David McCullough's biography, Truman. Knowing you, you've probably read it.

Drew Hill said...

Me, too, John. I enjoyed McCullough's book, my favorite about Truman. Funny how the passing of time redefines popularity and greatness. History tends to straighten things out as to who really did well.