The Reservoir of Goodwill
I have been reading The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson’s look at Winston Churchill’s leadership team in World War II during the period 1939-1941. This was before Pearl Harbor; the United States had not entered the war. In the 1940 presidential election, Franklin Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented third term against liberal Republican candidate Wendell Willkie. As American sentiment swung back and forth between isolationist and globalist positions, the polls gave the lead first to one candidate and then to the other. On election day, Roosevelt won by a wide margin.
Willkie later supported Roosevelt’s administration during the war. As Roosevelt’s informal envoy, Willkie visited London in 1941. In 1942, Roosevelt sent Willkie on a 7-week, 31,000-mile tour of Russia, the Middle East and China to gather information and discuss plans for the post-war future. The following year Willkie wrote One World, a travelogue and argument for world unity. The book sold over one million copies. During his travels, Willkie encountered a “reservoir of goodwill” toward the United States across the world because America did not attempt to impose its rule or exact special privileges. This goodwill should be used to “unify the peoples of the earth in the human quest for freedom and justice.”
In your family, business and community, have you encountered a reservoir of goodwill? Have you added your influence to the reservoir? For example, do you express your political views without imposing them on others? Are you making plans for a post-pandemic future?
~ Randy Hooper