Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Sea not Vast Enough

"There was a time when the seas seemed endless and the sky vast enough to swallow any of the mistakes and errors of man. The world used to be big and man could afford to be small. Now the world is small and man must be big."                  

--Elliot Richardson

You would think maybe a minister or philosopher said these words. Instead he was a lawyer and a bureaucrat, a politician and an ambassador. All those occupations we jokingly don't trust.

According to Wikipedia, Elliot Richardson was known as a 'notable administrator.' He served in World War II, clerked for two different judges, went into politics and then into the federal agencies. He served the Nixon administration as an UnderSecretary of State, a Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, a Secretary of Defense, and then as Attorney General. During his tenure as Attorney General, Nixon ordered him to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson had already promised during his confirmation hearings that he would not do so. Rather than break his promise, he resigned.

His other accomplishments include much work on the UN's "Law of the Sea", the international law of maritime affairs, including sea piracy, trade lanes, and the extent of borders for offshore oil drilling.

It's good to think there are 'founding fathers' all along our history--people that believe in principles, and who are wary of making mistakes.  Besides that, I like the quote.


Slamdunk said...

Good quote Ann T.

I enjoy learning more about the writer of good quotes--it allows me to link there experience with the message.

Bob G. said...

I find this quote intriguing, in that I was (for some odd reason) thinking about Winslow Homer the other day...
ANd yes, I believe we have had founding fathers throughout our history...kinds like:
America - The Next Generation (how "Trekkian" in concept).

Nice to see people of honor one a REAL sense of hope.

Have a great week.

CaitlynA said...

I worked for Elliot Richardson several times over his last 20 years. He described himself, with a smile, as a 'radical moderate.' He was firmly committed to american ideals and to making our political and administrative systems effective in putting those ideals into practice. He was an 'honorable politician' who would be proud of that description because, in his view, politics is where american ideals and principles are put into practice. He was a great man and I am a better person myself for having worked with him.

Ann T. said...

Wow! I am so lucky in my comments.

Dear Slamdunk,
I always like to know who said the quotes too--I'm always afraid there's some irony there, as if someone horrible can be admired for one enlightened quote--or if that quote is taken out of context. I'm glad you enjoyed!

Dear Bob,
After I wrote this about 'founding fathers' I wondered if I should have said 'statesman'. But on reflection, I think these founding fathers are something more than statesman, because they "Make it New" for us all over again.

I am lucky to have found friends like you and SD who consider things like honor important.

And last of all,
Thank you very much for writing in and adding a little testimony. Other things I read on Mr. Richardson only back up your witness, and I'm knocked back that you would find this post and add to it! Thank you for stopping by!

All of you, thanks Very much,
Ann T.

P.S. Tried to post this last night, and computer wouldn't do it. Sorry for being late!