Mission Driven Stories: Calvin Coolidge

“Our talents are given us in order that we may serve ourselves and our fellowmen.” ~Calvin Coolidge

From a small town boy in Vermont to President of the U.S., Calvin Coolidge remained the same stalwart, honest, clear-thinking man he was trained to be at home. He clung to the values and principles instilled in him through his parents, grandparents and devoted professors, all his life. He never flinched in his beliefs that God is at the helm, that He directs His children through natural laws and principles, that hard work is the backbone of success and progress and that liberty must be earned. He brought order and increased freedom at every level of government in which he served. Best of all, he loudly exclaimed–through his words and through the life he lived–that we are here to serve God by serving our fellowmen and that if we’ll prepare ourselves, God will call us to His work. 

In this podcast, you’ll hear Coolidge’s own words about all aspects of life. You’ll see his spiritual training, his educational preparation and his commitment to giving of himself to create better communities. In his life, you’ll watch the fruits of the 7 Laws of Life Mission bless a nation, and hopefully, you’ll be inspired to follow in his footsteps. 

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

6:18        Birth and early life    
14:13      Education
19:14      A deeper introduction to Natural Law and Truth
27:42     Professor Garman

30:09    Law
33:01     Family
35:45     Public Office
39:27     The real role of government
42:51     National Attention and Staying the Course
45:24    The hand of God
48:36    Mr. President
51:46     Two sad events

Quotes from this episode:

“By reason of what I saw and heard in my early life, I came to have a good working knowledge of the practical side of government. I understood that it consisted of restraints which the people had imposed upon themselves in order to promote the common welfare.~Calvin Coolidge

“[My parents] drew no class distinctions except towards those who assumed superior airs. Those they held in contempt. They held strongly to the doctrine of equality. Whenever the hired man or the hired girl wanted to go anywhere they were always understood to be entitled to my place in the wagon, in which case, I remained at home. This gave me a very early training in democratic ideas and impressed upon me very forcibly the dignity and power, if not the superiority, of labor.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“While I can think of many pleasures we did not have, and many niceties of culture with which we were unfamiliar, yet if I had the power to order my life anew I would not dare to change that period of it. If it did not afford me the best that there was, it abundantly provided the best that there was for me.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“I discovered that our ideas of democracy came from the agora of Greece, and our ideas of liberty came from the forum of Rome. Something of the sequence of history was revealed to me so that I began to understand the significance of our own times and our own country.” ~Calvin Coolidge

If attendance on these religious services ever harmed any of the men of my time I have never been informed of it. The good it did I believe was infinite. Not the least of it was the discipline that resulted from having constantly to give some thought to things that young men would often prefer not to consider. If we did not have the privilege of doing what we wanted to do we had the much greater benefit of doing what we ought to do. It broke down our selfishness, it conquered our resistance, it supplanted impulse, and finally, it enthroned reason.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Above all, we were taught to follow the truth whithersoever it might lead. We were warned that this would oftentimes be very difficult and result in much opposition, for there would be many who were not going that way, but if we pressed on steadfastly it was sure to yield the peaceable fruits of the mind. It does. Our investigation revealed that man is endowed with reason, that the human mind has the power to weigh evidence, to distinguish between right and wrong, and to know the truth.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“I was full of the joy of doing something in the world.” ~Calvin Coolidge   

Upon becoming President – “Before leaving the room, I knelt down and with the same prayer with which I have since approached the altar of the church, asked God to bless the American people and give me power to serve them. ~Calvin Coolidge

“It is a very old saying that you never can tell what you can do until you try. The more I see of life the more I am convinced of the wisdom of that observation.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Surprisingly few men are lacking in capacity, but they fail because they are lacking in application.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Any reward that is worth having only comes to the industrious. The success which is made in any walk of life is measured almost exactly by the amount of hard work that is put into it.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Things are so ordered in this world that those who violate its law cannot escape the penalty. Nature is inexorable. If men do not follow the truth they cannot live.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“It is a great advantage to a President, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man. When a man begins to feel that he is the only one who can lead in this republic, he is guilty of treason to the spirit of our institutions.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Wealth comes from industry and the hard experience of human toil. To dissipate it in waste and extravagance is disloyalty to humanity. This is by no means a doctrine of parsimony. Both men and nations should live in accordance with their means and devote their substance not only to productive industry but to the creation of the various forms of beauty and the pursuit of culture which give adornments to the art of life.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“The day I became President [my son] had just started to work in a tobacco field. When one of his fellow laborers said to him, “If my father was President I would not work in a tobacco field. Calvin replied, “If my father were your father, you would.” ~Calvin Coolidge

Commenting on losing his son and not being able to be with his father at the end – “It costs a great deal to be President.” ~Calvin Coolidge

Upon the death of his sister – “The memory of the charm of her presence and her dignified devotion to the right will always abide with me.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“The President gets the best advice he can find, uses the best judgment at his command, and leaves the event in the hands of Providence.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“The process of civilization consists of the discovery, by men, of the laws of the universe and of living in harmony with those laws. The most important of them, to men, are the laws of their own nature.” ~Calvin Coolidge from “The Supports of Civilization”

“This is education – the method whereby man is revealed to himself.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“If I had permitted my failures, or what seemed to me at the time a lack of success, to discourage me I cannot see any way in which I would ever have made progress. If we keep our faith in ourselves, and what is even more important, keep our faith in regular and persistent application to hard work, we need not worry about the outcome.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“While the quantity of the truth we know may be small it is the quality that is important. If we really know one truth the quality of our knowledge could not be surpassed by the Infinite.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“In time of crisis my belief that people can know the truth, that when it is presented to them they must accept it, has saved me from many of the counsels of expediency. ” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Our talents are given us in order that we may serve ourselves and our fellowmen. Work is the expression of intelligent action for a specified end. It is not industry, but idleness, that is degrading. All kinds of work from the most menial service to the most exalted station are alike honorable.” ~Calvin Coolidge

Speaking of his modest home – “We lived where we did that I might better serve the people.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“By my studies and my course of life I meant to be ready to take advantage of opportunities. I was ready, from the time the Justices named me the Clerk of the Courts until my party nominated me for President.” ~Calvin Coolidge

We should try to guide ourselves by general principles and not get lost in particulars. ” ~Professor Garman

Regarding his political life – “My progress had been slow and toilsome, with little about it that was brilliant, or spectacular, the result of persistent and painstaking work, which gave it a foundation that was solid.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Any man who has been placed in the White House can not feel that it is the result of his own exertions or his own merit. Some power outside and beyond him becomes manifest through him. As he contemplates the workings of his office, he comes to realize with an increasing sense of humility that he is but an instrument in the hands of God.” ~Calvin Coolidge

List of Public Offices:

1898               Member of the City Council   
1899-1902   City Solicitor
1904               Chairman of the Republican City Committee
1906-08       Massachusetts House of Representatives

1910-11         Mayor of Northampton
1911-13         State Senator
1914              President of the Senate
1916              Lieutenant Governor
1919-21        Governor of Massachusetts
1921-21        Vice President of the U.S. 

1923-29       President of the U.S. 

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