I recently checked out a library book compiled by Herbert Hoover in 1949. It’s called On Growing Up: His Letters from and to American Children. The letters show Hoover’s character and values. One in particular seems especially appropriate today, for children of all ages.
Dear Mr. Hoover,
I am a boy 10 years old and who would like to become President like you were when I grow up. I thought that if I wrote to you that you can give me some information how you got to be a President. I wish you would send me an autograph. I would like that very much.
Your friend, Martin ______
I am in favor of your ambition to be President. As to your request on the rules as to “how to get to be President,” I suggest that:
The first rule is just to be a boy getting all the constructive joy out of life;
The second rule is that no one should win the Presidency without honesty and sportsmanship and consideration for others in his character—together with religious faith;
The third rule is that he should be a man of education.
If you follow these rules, you will be a man of standing in your community even if you do not make the White House. And who can tell? Maybe that also.
Regards, Herbert Hoover
Perhaps if Hoover were writing this letter today, he would factor in little girls as well as little boys. But it’s still excellent advice.