Positive events rarely have sequels, so we have to see beyond and use vision to not repeat the tried and true. It takes some gumption to stretch a little more. Yes, you can quote me on that. Sometimes we bloggers have to go the extra mile to dream up a snappy opening statement.
“No matter what office LBJ assumed he lifted greater than when he found it.”–David Pietrusza
Lyndon Baines Johnson was a controversial, yet very amazing man. He was a great historical figure because of his outrageous gumption and willingness to go the extra mile and further.
Johnson served as a Texas Representative in Congress from 1937 until 1949. He was appointed Lieutenant Commander of the US Naval Reserve in June 1940 to work during World War Two. LBJ focused on manpower and production pitfalls that had slowed down the production of ships and airplanes. Furthermore, he served as an observer on several bombing missions. Many people do not know that Johnson was awarded the Army Silver Star Medal for bravery.
In the post war era, Johnson was a Senator from Texas from 1949 until 1961. He was Senate Minority Leader, then later became Senate Majority Leader. Many historians say Johnson was the most effective Majority Leader in US history.
In January of 1961, LBJ became the 37th Vice President. On November 22, 1963, he assumed the position of President following the death of John F. Kennedy. He was later elected to serve another term.
Mr. Johnson had plenty of dire issues to confront during his presidency, first and foremost was the conflict in Vietnam. His military policies came under fire from people on the right and the left. Yet, while dealing with the pressures of war, LBJ ushered some important non-war changes to benefit the nation.
His pet project was the “War on Poverty”. He authored and pushed through work and social welfare programs to aid the poorest Americans.
Johnson was an advocate in favor of improving immigration policy. He went the extra mile to allow qualified non-Europeans to enter the path of citizenship.
Perhaps Johnson’s best known project was his strong advocacy of civil rights for minorities. He pushed and prodded Congress to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act in 1965. Without LBJ’s persistence, the Civil Rights Act might not have happened.
So, LBJ was actually more compassionate than his famous gruff, crude demeanor made him seem to the casual observer. It’s important to remember that Johnson was President during very turbulent times of domestic and international upheaval. The 1960s filled his plate to overflowing yet he never made the events about himself.
It has been said and proven that heroes sometimes have to weather a hostile public when they stand up for the little guy. They walk their talk while helping the less powerful. Their actions sometimes raise the ire of more conventional people. When we encounter people like LBJ, we are in the company of people who go the extra mile.
Even though most of us will never be famous like LBJ, we find inspiration from their positive examples. We are able to begin right where we are, despite our faults and foibles, to go the extra mile. Napoleon Hill said we can improve the lives of others and ourselves “..by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for.”
Thinking about going the extra mile is a good way to begin this brand new month.