An epic mini-series on the life and times of John Adams recently aired on HBO. It was truly fantastic! I have never seen a finer production in my entire life. The complete series is available on DVD if you did not have the opportunity to see it.
As you know, John Adams was the second president of the United States. He went through an incredibly difficult time to help organize and direct this new experiment we have now come to know as the United States of America. Realizing the hardships that the early founding fathers faced and the difficulties they had to deal with daily, is a truly humbling experience. Remarkable greatness has gone before us to give us what we now know as independence and freedom! As I watched the episodes, I did not even feel worthy to live in the same country as some of these brilliant people who, through divine providence, were able to make decisions that have charted a course of success for our country for over two hundred forty years.
I was impressed, too, by his wife, Abigail, who was an incredible woman. I was humbled by her dedication and commitment to her family and our new country. She was kind, wise, hard-working, diligent, focused, mature, smart, and amazingly gracious in everything that she did. This strong woman gave her husband wise counsel as he tried to lead in his daily business decisions.
Because John Adams had to travel to England and France often, unfortunately, he had to be away from his family much of the time. When he left, he would look at his children and say, “Be good, do good.” The first time I heard that, I thought, “That really does sum up all of life.” If we can simply “be good and do good” every day, we will be more productive and have a better life. We get off track when we stop being good and doing good. Then, before long, we are making unwise decisions, saying things that hurt other people, and being unkind in our actions. It is very foolish not to “be good and do good” on a daily basis.
Stop and think with me just for a moment. What if everyone in the world had two goals each day: to be good and do good? That would eliminate all of the problems in our school systems, end violence, and gang problems, and eliminate terrorism. It would immediately end hurt feelings, domestic violence, and wars. It would stop the never-ending pain and hurt that many face in family, business, religion, and daily life. It is just so simple! Be good and do good!
I know that some of the most profound concepts are actually very simple in their origin. If we can go back to that one concept that John Adams taught his children, we will all be better for it. It truly would change the fabric of our society and perhaps our future if everyone focused on being good and doing good. It certainly seemed appropriate to live by that simple creed in the difficult days which our early founding fathers faced.
I know that life cannot be boiled down to any one formula, but “Be good and do good” is, in my estimation, a simple yet great philosophy by which to live one’s life. I know it touched me in a way that has already helped me ask myself the question, “Am I being good, and am I doing good right now?” I have some course corrections to make, but I also know that following that simple plan will take me to the places I long to go. It will you, too!
Tip: Be good, do good!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm