"Without a humble imitation of the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, we can never hope to be a happy nation."
We finally enter the last chapter of The Being George Washington Challenge. Families across America have faithfully accepted this challenge to strengthen their own values and virtues in order to better reflect the character of George Washington.
In this last phase we are asked to become students of the virtues of Humility and Faith.
At Washington's funeral, Henry Lee spoke of how the President encompassed these values. He said, "First in war — first in peace — and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life; pious, just, humane, temperate and sincere; uniform, dignified and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting."
We are called on this month to continue Washington's legacy by integrating his steady character traits and virtues into ourselves. One way is to do that is to pray on our knees with our families every day. Displaying sincere gratitude to others expresses humility as does serving others in need.
Washington's faith in a higher power proved to be hugely beneficial during challenging times. He strongly believed in a loving God, one who could be relied upon to further man's freedom. He once wrote, "The cause of our common country calls us both to an active and dangerous duty; Divine Providence, which wisely orders the affairs of men, will enable us to discharge it with fidelity and success."
His confidence in God allowed him to keep a pleasant disposition in the darkest of occasions as he has been quoted to say, "Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person's mind than on the externals in the world. It is assuredly better to go laughing than crying through the rough journey of life."
At the end of this year you can praise yourself for completing this journey. We have worked on the virtues of Diligence, Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, Charity, Independence, Thanksgiving, and Humility. If you have followed along all year then you have likely been enriched by these lessons from George Washington. Please take time to joyously reflect on what you have learned as you can now proudly say that, at least in some small sense, you have Become George Washington!