Tuesday, November 30, 2010

332 / Bear Any Burden

If John F. Kennedy is revered, as I think he mostly is, this is mostly because he called Americans to greatness; that is, he called individual Americans to take part in a collective enterprise that had importance beyond the merely individual. The following quotation, from his Inaugural Address in 1961, was made in the context of a national commitment to military action (if needed), but the sentiment can be generalized:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Whether we think of the daunting challenges we find in California, or the daunting challenges we see on the national and international levels, it is time for all of us to understand that we must now be willing to "pay the price" and "bear the burden" of our participation in the common life of our state and nation.

And this does mean to pay the price and bear the burden of the taxes that will support our common efforts to educate the public, to protect and preserve the environment, to enhance public safety, and to build a new world that is sustainable, so that our children, and their children, will be able to face the challenges of their own times, still to come.

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