Wednesday, December 31, 2003

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I resolve...

Now is the time when I hear people say, “I’m making a New Year’s Resolution. I’m going to eat right starting tomorrow (but today, I’m going to binge like never before). Beginning on January 2nd, I’m going to exercise everyday (but today, I’m not going to get off the couch). With this New Year, I’m going to watch my spending habits (but today, I’m going to take advantage of the year-end sales and buy everything in sight). With this New Year, I’m going to drink less (but with football going on all day today, all bets are off).

Any time I hear someone say, “I’m making a New Year’s resolution, and I’m starting tomorrow,” I know that their stated resolve won’t last one week, much less a year. The first thing wrong with a New Year’s resolution, is the fact that a person has to wait for a specific calendar day to make that resolution. A true resolution will be made immediately when a person realizes that the former activity is detrimental. A true resolution will be acted upon immediately, not at some point in the future. A true resolution will be monitored on a regular basis, and kept at the forefront of a person’s mind.

So, with this Old Year coming to an end, and a New Year coming around the bend, I resolve to never make a New Year’s resolution. In its place, I will closely monitor my life throughout the year, making corrections when corrections are needed. I will not burden myself with worries about past activities that I cannot change. Instead, I will boldly walk into the future, using wisdom and knowledge from the past to guide me around obstacles that once tripped me up.

I resolve to not make resolutions lightly, but to make resolutions that will mold and shape my life as it should be.

Larry Tate 12-27-08