“You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot accomplish by force,” wrote Publilius Syrus in the first century before the birth of Christ.
William B. McKinley, President of the United States from 1897 to 1901, was a man who understood that principle and put it into practice.
During one of his campaigns, a reporter from an opposition newspaper followed McKinley constantly and just as persistently misrepresented McKinley’s views on just about everything he said.
Eventually during this campaign, the weather became extremely cold, and even though the reporter didn’t have sufficiently warm clothing, he still followed McKinley. One bitter evening, the president-to-be was riding in his closed carriage, and the young reporter sat shivering on the driver’s seat outside.
McKinley stopped the carriage and invited the reporter to put on his coat and ride with him inside the warm carriage. The young man, astonished, protested that McKinley knew that he was the opposition and that he wasn’t going to stop saying nasty things about McKinley during the campaign.
McKinley knew that, but he wasn’t out to seek revenge. In the remaining days of the campaign, the reporter continued to oppose McKinley, but never again did he write anything unfair or biased about the future president.
Michael P. Green
What does the behavior of William McKinley and of the reporter say to YOU during our current presidential campaign?
If a third-party listened to YOUR words and observed YOUR actions this past month, who would the observer say that you more resembled — President McKinley or the reporter who was covering him?
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