Thursday, August 9
The FDR Principle
My mother was a war time baby, so when I was growing up I listened to stories from both her and my grandmother with relish. After all we are talking about war time Coventry here, so the stories were endlessly exciting to me at the time. One of my mothers jobs was keeping everyone entertained while they sat in the air raid shelters all hoping that this wasn't their last night on earth. Ever the show woman (She was about 2!) she did this by a serious of popular songs, airplane spotting and questions and answers. One of the questions was 'who was the President of America' She would shout 'FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt!' to the great amusement of the adults there, and pride of my grandmother. So from a fairly young age I was sort of taken with FDR myself, although I think it was the name that caught my attention more than anything else. When I was about 12, in a fit of enlightenment, my mother kept me off school for 3 days as there was a mini series on about the life of the Roosevelts. She reckoned this was a better history lesson than anything I was likely to learn at school. She was right. From that point I was hooked on the Roosevelts, and over the years I have read and acquired loads of books on them. Great big books of research, and all the time Ive been looking for that tiny nugget that says 'This was the man'.
Now I'm at a point in my life where maybe I understand a bit more. Older and wiser I hope. Im the same age more or less, that FDR was 'struck down'. I'm not going to go on and become Governor of anywhere soon, or President 3 times, but when I look at photos of FDR standing taking a salute, I wonder just how the hell he did it. Where did he find the will? After all he could have retired to an easy life with money and resources, he didn't have to achieve anything. And yet it is my belief he did so much, and did it all with great humour and vigour. The french call this Esprit de Vie. Life force I suppose you could say. Now I'm not one for looking for great inspirational figures but I admit that I have taken huge inspiration from FDR over the years, if I could do a mere 1000th of what he did, my life would mean something. So that's how I try to live my life, sounds really cheesy I know, but I guess we all take inspiration from someone. I suppose I never knew the irony of it before.