Today is Presidents Day. I hope you will join me in viewing this holiday as much more than simply an extra day off. Today should be used to reflect upon what has made American presidents great. Often, it’s courage under fire, steadfast leadership in times of controversy or crisis, or uniting the country across many of our deepest divisions.
You’re at party—laughing with friends, having a good time. When someone comes up and tells you about the excitement going on in the other room, you follow, intrigued. You find yourself joining a group crammed into a small, crowded space. Suddenly the door slams behind you and the lights flicker.
Yesterday we honored one of the greatest men in our country’s history, Martin Luther King, Jr. I do a lot of speaking around the country, and in almost every speech I find a way to include this quote from King: “We will have to repent in this generation, not only for the evil words and deeds of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
I often ask myself, “What am I silent about?” Are there injustices going on around me that I don’t recognize?
A war-wounded Southern Sudanese man casts his vote at Juba University polling center in South Sudan capital, Juba on January 9, 2011. (Abraham Nhial/WV)
If you are a close follower of international news, or perhaps of film star George Clooney, you might have picked up there’s a bit of excitement surrounding an independence referendum going on in Sudan this week—one that is likely to see the creation of an entirely new nation.