Friday, September 21, 2007

Mr. Washington

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, is considered to the Father of his nation, for he was the leader of the revolutionary struggle for American independence from the British colonial rule. Like Gandhiji, Washington was also a lover of truth. When he was only a boy, he admitted chopping down his father’s cherry tree, saying Father, I cannot tell a lie.

Washington’s achievement in uniting the diverse elements which formed the U.S. earned him this unanimous encomium from his countrymen: First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.

Addiction to principles was Washington’s forte.

To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace. Cultivate peace and harmony with all nations. When he took over as President of the U.S., he said whatever we do will serve to establish a precedent and hence these precedents should be fixed on true principles.

Once when George Washington was out riding with some friends, one of the horses kicked off some stones in a farmer’s rock fence.

Washington told his colleagues to better replace them.

Oh! Let the farmer do that, they laughed.

Washington dismounted and carefully replaced the stones on the fence.

You are too big to be doing that, a friend remarked.

On the contrary I am the right size, replied Washington.

This is an extract from the book The Great Ones.