Old-timers and history buffs – I am in the former category – will remember President Kennedy’s now iconic statement, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I always liked this statement because I think it speaks to the duty and responsibility of citizenship. I think too many folks have moved away from recognizing that duty and responsibility – what a pity.
But the thing that kept President Kennedy’s statement ever-fresh for me (seeing as I was only four years old when he died), was the revamped statement that I first came upon in the nineties. The revamped version shifted the focus from the country to your mother.
As a mother, I endorse this statement. I have been using this one for decades now. But lo and behold, I happened upon another version in the most recent What on Earth catalog. Now that I have three grown children, I think I will need to incorporate this new version into my repertoire.
Do you suppose it is wrong to use the inspiring words of a former president to your own selfish advantage? Wait…only answer that if you are a mother…a mother who has lived through teenagers. You are right there with me aren’t you moms? There is a debt to be paid by the offspring that you successfully navigated back from teenager-hood to humanity. Spread the word…the sense of duty and responsibility needs to be hammered home.
Day one thousand three hundred and eighty-four of the new forty – obla di obla da