Nov 09

How Do You Make an Extraordinary Citizen?

by Sargent Shriver Peace Institute | 11/09/2020 4:13PM | Quote of the Week | Citizenship | On This Day


On the 105th anniversary of his birth, our Quote of the Week honors the example of citizenship that Sargent Shriver left for us.

In a rousing speech about citizenship to young leaders, Sargent Shriver spoke about the potential of Chicago, his home at the time. The year was 1957, and when he asked, "What are we in Chicago famous for? What do we export to the world?," he suggested that perhaps the city was known for exporting only "material things," listing the manufactured products for which the city was famous at the time. He then stressed that as citizens, we needed to cultivate deeper, more spiritual gifts to give to each other and to the rest of the world, and it is in this context that he spoke of citizenship, faith, service, and indeed, love.

As we celebrate Sargent Shriver's birthday, we are filled with gratitude for the example he left us. And, as we reflect on his life today, we're also grateful for the millions of citizens who lift up and protect our communities in 2020, each in their own way, during the most difficult of circumstances. The presidential election of 2020, for example, has shown the power of our citizens. In the midst of a deadly pandemic, we have organized, we have made plans to vote and we have supported others through the voting process -- and the result has been an explosion heard 'round the world.

As we continue to navigate through one of the more tumultuous years in our nation's recent history, we must continue to actively embrace the values that are going to create a more peaceful and prosperous society for all of us: citizenship, faith, service, and indeed, love.

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