“Do the day’s work.” Such were the words Calvin Coolidge spoke at his inauguration as President of the Massachusetts State Senate on January 14, 1914. Such an admonition to his fellow legislators would be just as timely today as they come back in session all across the country. Like now, work was becoming more about benefits than about obligations. It is through work that individuals and nations alike find prosperity and fulfillment. Work to Mr. Coolidge was not something from which to escape. It was the dignified and solemn responsibility of a civilized and free people. As he would say elsewhere, “Work is not a curse, it is the prerogative of intelligence…and the measure of civilization” (“Adequate Brevity” p. 120). As we face a crossroads between the kind of people we have been and the kind we will be, let us not forget that true success demands we work. Whoever we are, whatever we do, be we great or anonymous, let us do the day’s work as befits individuals worthy of freedom.
Mr. Coolidge working around the farm at Plymouth Notch with his father, Colonel John, and sons, John and Calvin Jr. As he notes in “The Autobiography” it was growing up here with his father and grandparents that he learned the worth of being “faithful over a few things” (p. 19, cf. Matthew 25.21, 23). As the Lord promises, this leads to greater things if we are faithful.