One of the most iconic President in US history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is hailed among the pioneers of modern America. During his years in office, he preached the power of bold business and decisions in life.
It was during 1933 that he took office, and US had now entered the Great Depression. The stock market crash which occurred is said to be one of the greatest the country had ever faced.
The actual issue-Fear:
What befuddled Roosevelt the most was not the depression in economy itself, but the mere attitude of the people who had retreated into a shell. It somehow felt as if they were just expecting losses and defeats. There was so much fear going about that it was clouding the judgement of the American people.
The effects of fearful business were drastic. People made decisions in accordance with how they would end up if they fail and not with the planning and hope for success. This led to lower investments and efforts to create the magic which was required during such a time of adversity.
The Inaugural Address:
FDR took up the challenge with a stern hand from the beginning. During his inaugural address to the people, he said that would not lie to them and turn a blind eye towards the detrimental situation. Preaching naive optimism is as useless, and at times as harmful, as fear itself.
But he would remind the people that they had faced greater times of adversity than this, and quoting the Civil War, he reminded them that they had overcome the problem with unity and vigor and that that is exactly what is required at this time as well. ‘Our pioneer spirit, determination and resolve will see us through this situation’.
And at this moment, I quote a beautiful line from his address:
“So, first of all, let me assert my belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyses needed efforts to turn retreat into advance.”
During any adversity in life, we need to beat the fear in our minds that holds us down. Because a ship can only sail once it is freed from the anchor that’s pulling it down.