Hello, it's Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, the morning after the first online presidential nominating convention in U.S. history. This is also the day the week when I reprise an instructive or inspirational quotation. Today, I have two, both from women -- one of whom you are probably unfamiliar with, and the other from someone the whole world now knows.
"You, me, and Joe -- together. What an awesome responsibility. What an awesome privilege." That was Kamala Harris teeing up the conclusion of her potent acceptance speech Wednesday night. She continued:
"So, let's fight with conviction. Let's fight with hope. Let's fight with confidence in ourselves, and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible. The America we love.
"Years from now, this moment will have passed. And our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: ‘Where were you when the stakes were so high?'
"They will ask us, ‘What was it like?' And we will tell them. We will tell them, not just how we felt. We will tell them what we did."
It's a noble thought, imparted to a nation where much work needs to be done. Yet, as wildfires rage out of control in the state that both Kamala Harris and I come from, I thought this week of a sentiment I came across from Charlotte Kasl, a psychotherapist and author of self-help books. I realize that Kasl isn't the kind of source I usually cite is my daily essays, but we must take wisdom wherever we find it these days. She used fire as a metaphor, not as a call to action but as a reminder of human limitations, and that our purpose in life is not only to fight. Sometimes, we must put down our weapons, experience gladness -- and instill it in others.
"My father once told me of a trick question he used in a college class on forest fire control," she wrote. "If there was a fire coming from a certain direction and wind was coming from another, what was the best thing to do? The right answer was, ‘Run like hell and pray for rain,' but few students ever got it. So allow yourself the freedom of knowing there are times to bail out, quit, run, leave the struggle, and have more time for joy."
And those are your quotes of the week.
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.