Monday, July 4, 2011


I must study politics and war that my sons have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail
I don't think I have ever properly thanked the Founding Fathers for everything I have because of their sacrifices. When I read this quote today, I was struck that I have much more to thank them for than I fully realized before. I am so grateful for them, for everyone one who has gone before me and studied mathematics, philosophy, geography, etc., so that I can study literature and music--two of my greatest loves. The Founders understood that they would have to make sacrifices in order for this country, for their posterity, to have liberty to live the way they wanted and to study what they wanted. They might have preferred fine arts to the art of politics and war, but they sacrificed so much of themselves so we could do what they perhaps wanted to, but couldn't. They gave us our future.

As I was coming home from my mission, the airplane landed and we went through security and customs and all that, and when the security guard checked my passport, he smiled and said "welcome home." I don't think I have ever felt more proud to be an American than I was at that moment. I had gone to Uruguay for 18 months and loved every minute of it, and last summer I went to the UK and fell head over heels for England, but America will always be home.

So no matter what anyone says about America's flaws, if we believe in America and preserve the legacy of the Founders, our children can have the same right to study and live however they choose.

Happy 4th of July!


jessica renae said...

i LOVE this quote! it reminds me of the different generations... you know, hero generation, artist generation? it's a pretty interesting connection, i think...

Curt and Ronda said...

That is beautiful. Thank you, Natalie. I noticed the if/then in your last paragraph. I think there is always an if/then, meaning we, too, have a responsibility to pave the way for another generation. What will the next generation study? What they want or what they need?