Before His Death, President George H.W. Bush Offered Some Sage Advice for Young Americans
"Don't get down when your life takes a bad turn. Out of adversity comes challenge and often success."
This week has been a celebration of the life of the 41stpresident of these United States, George Herbert Walker Bush. It's been a week to reflect on all he achieved in his professional life—both in the military and in public service. It's also been a week for the family to share stories of their beloved father or "Gampy." But so too have we heard stories we never knew about just how far his kind heart reached. We learned about the selfless act to honor the little boy of one of his security detail.
And we also learned about how often he wrote letters that really impacted the recipients. Fox News Anchor Bret Baier brought one such letter to our attention this week. He shared with his audience Wednesday that former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, a friend of the Bush family from Maine, sent an email to him with an attachment. The email from Sam to Bret said, "41 sent this to me in December of 2009. It says all anyone needs to know about his values." The attachment, of course, was the letter.
Bush wasn't writing Palmisano for a breezy check in with an old friend. No, rather it was a manifesto of sorts, of advice the former president has for the next generation of Americans.
"I cannot single out the one greatest challenge in my life. I have had a lot of challenges and my advice to young people might be as follows," the letter began.
He then imparted such pearls of wisdom like, "don't get down when your life takes a bad turn. Out of adversity comes challenge and often success." Also, this important life lesson, "when things go well, always give credit to others." He warned, "nobody likes an overbearing big shot," and he concluded with "say your prayers."
Although Bush designated this advice was for "young people," it is a safe bet that we could all use a reminder every now and again.
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As Baier concluded, "this is the essence of President George H.W. Bush the man—his humility, his humanity…. This is 'all anyone needs to know about his values' and frankly it is his legacy."
Read the entire letter here.