Nov. 6, 2022 | Issue #42
1 Quote. 1 Reflection. 1 Question.
"If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live."
Source: John F. Kennedy
JFK made this speech at a Harvard commencement ceremony as a Senator. Even before his presidency he felt the country's political divide, ended his speech with the quote you just read. It’s fascinating how the same issues come and go through time.
It is getting more and more polarizing around the world and doesn't seem to be slowing. In the words of JFK, there is one way to equip yourself, know a little bit about everything.
Knowing a little bit about everything helps you relate to other people, human to human. Whether you are liberal or conservative, having a wide range of knowledge and experience can help you talk to the person across from you. This isn’t just about talking about politics — it can help you in the office, at home, in school, or at the bar.
JFK was the 2nd of 9 children, surely giving him experience in comprising, and giving him a unique perspective on the world. He was an award-winning author, a Navy man during World War II, a Harvard grad, an athlete, and an avid reader.
He could read 1,200 words per minute, smoked 4-5 cigars a day, and nearly died after a Japanese destroyer sank his boat.
JFK knew the way to relate to each other was through collective experience and knowledge. This is why he ends the speech with this statement instead of shoving it into the middle of his speech.
We are in a similar situation now as a country and planet. The good news is that we aren't hopeless. We can prepare ourselves by reading a different book, listening to a new podcast, trying a new hobby, or watching a well-researched documentary.
Doing this makes us 1% better than we were yesterday and as a result, makes our planet 1% better.
You often read about the winners of history. When is the last time you read about the loser?
ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER
The 1-Step Forward Newsletter is a weekly Sunday newsletter.
Each issue contains 1 Quote, 1 Reflection, and 1 Question each meant to guide you on the next step forward in your life towards improvement.
November 13 (newer)
"Those unable to catalog the past are doomed to repeat it." - Daniel Handler
October 30 (older)
“Not to feel exasperated, or defeated, or despondent because your days aren’t packed with wise and moral actions. But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human—however imperfectly—and fully embrace the pursuit that you’ve embarked on.” - Marcus Aurelius