everything grows with love

Stories about My Experiences with Writers & Illustrators Who Bring Light into the World…by Bonnie Ingber Verburg

Archive for Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

Personal: FDR and IF KIDS RAN THE WORLD

IF FDR RAN FOR PRESIDENT TODAYThe connection between If Kids Ran the World and FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights” was purely coincidental, yet the parallel in content was uncanny. When something like that happens–a book you publish turns out to have almost the same content as an excerpt from one of FDR’s most profound State of the Union Speeches–it’s hard to ignore. My own lack of awareness of the speech was unsettling, and I was very happy by the additional coincidence that documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is airing his remarkable history of the Roosevelts on PBS this month of September when If Kids Ran the World has been published–with the book’s coverage of that “Second Bill of Rights” speech and the FDR “Four Freedoms” speech in its back matter.

A friend brought this political cartoon (above) to my attention last night, and I don’t think the artist, David Horsey, would mind that I’m posting it here. It’s unfortunate that in many U.S. circles it’s become unpopular to give good medical care to the sick, feed the hungry, and provide a good education for all children–things FDR advocated, and notions presented in this book. Thank you to Ken Burns for bringing these concepts to the public, so younger people such as my son can know that at one time these thoughts were taken seriously (and yes, like 93% of Americans, I am disgusted with our Congress), and thank you to David Horsey for this cartoon that reminds us how distorted our news coverage has become.

If Kids Ran the World wasn’t meant to be political or religious. It wasn’t meant to take a side in any argument. It gently advocates equality among all humans–a very simple concept.  And it warmly advocates love, patience, kindness, and generosity.

They are also the same qualities my minister, Dave Carpenter, used in his sermon on Sunday–to describe a man who supposedly said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Love one another. It’s so simple to say yet so difficult to put into practice…as individuals, communities, cultures, governments. When I was searching for quotes for the back case of If Kids Ran the World (the printed cover of the book under the dust jacket), I realized that the people I admire most aren’t the powerful or rich or glamorous. They are the Bishop Desmond Tutus and Dalai Lamas of the world who see humanity–and behave toward all people–with an entirely different attitude and interpretation than the one I encounter in my daily life. But it’s so simple, I say aloud as I comb through the grass, searching for a four-leaf clover. And then: If it’s so simple to do, then why can so few people do it?  

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No answer today. Just more questions. And my opinions are obviously my own here and do not reflect that of…well, the newscasters in David Horsey’s political cartoon–and I guess most people in today’s world, right?

 

 

 

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