Excerpt from President Roosevelt’s January 11, 1944 message to the Congress of the United States on the State of the Union

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights.”

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.”[2] People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

*The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
*The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
*The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
*The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
*The right of every family to a decent home;
*The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
*The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
*The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

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Sufi Blessing

May the blessings of love be upon you.
May its peace abide within you.
May its essence illuminate your heart,
Now and forever more…

At Least by Raymond Carver

I want to get up early one morning,
before sunrise. Before the birds, even.
I want to throw cold water on my face
and be at my work table
when the sky lightens and smoke
begins to rise from the chimneys
of the other houses.
I want to see the waves break
on this rocky beach, not just hear them
break as I did all night in my sleep.
I want to see again the ships
that pass through the strait from every
seafaring country in the world –
old, dirty freighters just barely moving along,
and the swift new cargo vessels
painted every color under the sun
that cut the water as they pass.
I want to keep an eye out for them.
And for the little boat that plies
the water between the ships
and the pilot station near the lighthouse.
I want to see them taking a man off the ship
and put another up on board.
I want to spend the day watching this happen
and reach my own conclusions.
I hate to seem greedy – I have so much
to be thankful for already.
But I want to get up early one morning, at least.
And go to my place with some coffee and wait.
Just wait, to see what’s going to happen.