What I learned from George Washington’s southern tour

Yesterday while driving I was listing to NPR, and there was an interesting segment about George Washington. After becoming our first President, he took a tour of the southern states to unify the nation. On that tour, he was very intentional to meet with key community leaders and to make sure that the new country was unified.

As the radio hosts talked with the guest expert on the George Washington southern tour, he said something interesting. He mentioned that in Charleston George Washington and been assigned a housekeeper to help him during his stay there. Apparently George Washington and that housekeeper struck up a friendship and even many years later were still corresponding via mail. That fascinates me. George Washington, the first President of the United States, took the time, many times, over the course of many years to maintain a friendship with a former (temporary) housekeeper.

As I thought about this, here are a few of my takeaways:

  • I’m never too busy to keep up with the important people in my life.  If the first President can take the time to write letters to distant friends, I can make a 5-minute phone call, type a 2-minute email, or send a 30-second text message.
  • You never know who you will connect with in friendship. A housekeeper and a President are unlikely friends, but friendship can come in strange and unexpected packages.
  • I should remember that I’m much less important than I think I am, and that should help me to look around me more often. If George Washington can take the time to look around and connect with his housekeeper, I shouldn’t be any different.
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