Among the many excellent ideas in Flourish, one jumped out: Seligman’s “What-Went-Well Exercise (Also Called ‘Three Blessings’).”
Amid the tremendous challenges facing the United States at the moment, it’s useful to recall the origination of the now-familiar holiday. Abraham Lincoln established it in the dark hours of the Civil War.
Sept. 17, 1787, is the date on which the United States Constitution was read and engrossed in final form at the constitutional convention. Benjamin Franklin, then 81 years old, was too frail to make a speech; but his written remarks were read aloud by his fellow-member of the Pennsylvania delegation, James Wilson. At the dawn of the 21st century, with Americans reflecting on first principles, Franklin’s guidance remains timely:
There was a time when they were simply a beautiful young couple in love. Nina and Claus von Stauffenberg were favored by fortune. They were aristocrats. They were patriots, dedicated to the nation from whom they sprung.
Through twists of fate they could never have imagined, Claus von Stauffenberg would become a historic figure. If anyone merits characterization as a “hero,” even in our post-heroic age, it’s he. No less a personage than Winston Churchill rendered the verdict that none could overturn: Stauffenberg was the “bravest of the best.”
It takes nothing away from Stauffenberg’s example to note that he was not alone in his heroism. In the run-up and follow-up to his crowded hour, Stauffenberg’s journey was undertaken with his family. Those who would learn from his example may benefit from the larger picture.