On Moving Forward

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President and Mrs. Coolidge traveling around the Black Hills, summer 1927. When the wagon got stuck on the way, the President got down and helped push it free.

“This country was not made on the theory that we should ‘eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.’ Its founders were more accustomed to prepare themselves with fasting and prayer that they might meet the serious obligation to live through the morrow. They had their feast days, too, for they found a great happiness in their work. But these were a time of thanksgiving and praise.

“Instead of falling back and falling down on the claim that the world owed them a living, they moved forward and moved up on the principle that they owed the world the duty of providing for themselves. They sought to live in the things of the spirit. They put first things first. They set small store on the things that are temporal, but strove mightily for the things that are eternal.

“If this nation is to endure we shall have to continue to walk by their light. We cannot give all our thought to material success. We cannot be relieved of all hardships. We should not faint at the first obstacle. We must accept the lot of finite beings and with deeper faith and higher courage work out our own salvation through our own sacrifice.”

— Calvin Coolidge, July 1, 1930

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