Remember: There is always hope. We can get along with each other. We can live in harmony. The key is to practice respect.
Our 26th U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt, was indeed a champion of children.
Let’s look first at his own family. He had six children and he loved them all deeply, devoting many hours to activities where the children could participate. Roosevelt once brought a pony into the White House and gave the pony a ride in the elevator, no doubt to the delight of his children. Their names are interesting. First born was Alice Lee, named for her mother, Theodore’s first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, who died suddenly only two days after her baby was born in 1884. Theodore married his second wife, Edith, and they produced five children: Theodore, Jr., Kermit, Ethel, Archie, and Quentin.
Here they are: President Theodore Roosevelt and family on the lawn at Sagamore Hill, 1903; Quentin leans on father’s shoulder while Archie, still in short pants, claims father’s knee. TR’s second wife Edith sits leaning against her daughter, Ethel. In the back row we see Ted, Jr, the oldest boy, oldest daughter Alice (whose mother was TR’s first wife) and Kermit. This frequently published photo of the family also appears on many postcards from the era.
Because of his deep love of all children, Roosevelt wanted to help the large number of American children who had become orphans for one reason or another. Also, he was concerned about child labor, and about children whose parents could not provide for them. Thus, before he left office in 1909, and encouraged by reformers in the national child welfare cause, he organized the first White House Conference on Children and Youth. It was titled “The Care of Dependent Children.” Conference participants focused on the health and welfare of children engaging forced labor, orphaned children, and children of the poor.
Below is a photo of the concluding banquet, held at the Willard Hotel in D.C., for the 1909 White House Conference on Children and Youth.
Now take a closer look. Get out your magnifying glass. Recognize anyone?
Among the well-known child welfare advocates seated at the head table with President Roosevelt at the end of the 1909 White House Conference on Children and Youth were Jane Addams, James E. West, Homer Folks, and Theodore Dreiser. (The banquet was held at Washington’s Willard Hotel.) (Dwight D. Eisenhower Library)
President Teddy Roosevelt’s 1909 Conference on Children and Youth was a landmark initiative destined to improve the welfare of children in need. Perhaps one of the most important recommendations of the conference was the call for the formation of a federal bureau which would focus on issues directly related to children. Thus, the U.S. Children’s Bureau was established in 1912 under the Department of Labor.
Theodore Roosevelt knew this truth and we know this truth: when we help children, we build a stronger, healthier world.
Welcome to the inauguration of our Harmony Keys Blog.
What is Harmony Keys? It is a safe place to talk about relationship issues.
So, since this is an inauguration, or a maiden voyage, let’s start things off by christening our new blog.
There, we just cracked a bottle of champagne across the proverbial bow. Can you hear the crowd cheering?
A few years ago, while packing to move to a different state, I discovered a very old assembly of ribbons that were braided in the shape of what must have been a gargantuan champagne bottle. The bottle was long-gone, but the faded ribbon casing remained, kept in tact by one of my also long-gone relatives.
After searching through family albums, I located a photo of Aunt Josephine with that same ribbon be-decked bottle in her arms, ready to whale it against the bow of a very large ship. A sturdy-looking lad was beside her, probably assigned to help her whang the bow with the bottle. It was written under the photo that Auntie Jo was selected to do the honors because Uncle William was in the shipping business. How they saved the ribbons is a mystery.
If you are worried that we are mixing metaphors here between keys to harmony and ships, cast your concerns aside. The connection between unlocking doors in relationships and launching new vessels is valid. Sometimes in relationships, doors are closed, even slammed, and locked. Sometimes the entire relationship goes into dry dock and is shut down. In that case, all the doors on the vessel are locked up for safety. Then people start looking for ways to mend the problem, open communication, and restore a healthy relationship.
So let’s do a little experiment: If you have a memory of a person in your family, or you’ve read about someone in any period of history who impressed you as helping open doors to healthy relationships, jot down your thoughts and send them in. We will all benefit. My guess is that, together, we will produce a plethora of invigorating ways that people help people. Are you game?
Now you know. At Harmony Keys, we will post articles about relationship dilemmas. Your comments and questions are respectfully invited. Welcome aboard!
There once lived a small boy who knew that people can learn to get along with each other.
He knew, deep in his heart, that it was true. People who think differently about things can live together in peace, if they put their minds to it. That’s what minds are for.
So he wrote a note to the world:
No More Hurting People. Peace.
He wrote it big enough for all to see, on a poster, and added two red hearts and a peace symbol.
He held the poster against his chest and smiled while his dad took his picture.
One day this loving boy ran from the sidelines to hug his father at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Then he ran back to where his mother and sister were watching.
At that same moment, a loud boom ripped the air and a home-made pressure cooker bomb exploded on the sidewalk near the boy, sending nails and other sharp metal objects into people all around, and into the boy’s body.
The boy died. His name was Martin Richard.
But he left us the most important message that we need to know in life. I will always remember what he wrote.
No more hurting people. Peace.
And peace for you, dear young Martin.