The day before Thanksgiving, I was invited back at the White House and had the privilege to cover the President’s remarks on the annual pardoning of the turkey. This year he didn’t pardon one but two and their names are “Mac” & “Cheese.” No this event had nothing to do with the debate on amnesty but this has been a tradition that spans decades and crosses political parties.
Our 44th President with his two beautiful daughters by his side before a crowd just inside the main entrance of the White House shared some humor and was in a good mood. During his remarks I couldn’t help but notice that all of us need a SECOND chance. My father used to say around the house growing up, “It is hard to soar like an Eagle when you are surrounded by so many turkeys!” So true. The fact is every single one of us need grace, mercy and a pardon.
As I left the black ironed gates of the White House I knew THANKSgiving was hours away and as many pause to be grateful for food, family, friends and football I was mindful of the the tremendous blessing of freedom and forgiveness. True leadership not only brings out the best of others but willing to extend grace to those whom don’t deserve it. The fact is all of us at times have dropped the ball and this Holiday Season give the gift of a PARDON to someone who desperately needs it. Forgiveness not only grants freedom to another but liberates self in the process. We all win when we give grace and extend second chances to another. The video below reveals the President’s remarks and I took the picture above during his remarks.
For me every day is THANKSgiving and who can you forgive in days ahead. When we harbor hatred or unforgiveness towards another it really destroys us. In the words of that popular Disney movie, “Let.It.Go.” The word of the day is, “You cannot move ahead if you are trying to get EVEN with others.” Be the bigger person and you don’t have to be a president to pardon but we are never more presidential when we give others a second chance.
This is an exciting week for me and I am on thrilled on December 3, 2014 to take my wife, Ruth and parents on a private tour of the President’s personal plane “AIR FORCE ONE” at Andrews AFB. The twin Boeing 747 are nearly a quarter of century old but still take my breath away. It is indeed the world’s most recognized aircraft and over the years I was blessed to fly three times on the newer yet smaller jet (Boeing 757) known as “Air Force Two” and board over a dozen times the older presidential planes.
Exactly, 48 hours later I am scheduled to fly on a much more modest plane to Atlanta and honored to be a guest again on ATLANTA LIVE television airing at 7PM and then will speak at a Youth Rally on Saturday evening in Calhoun, GA only to speak twice on Sunday morning and evening December 7 with a meeting in Chattanooga, TN on Monday December 8 before flying back home that evening. These things just don’t happen and I have been blessed beyond measure but God has granted me a second chance and more than ever we live to invest in others extending grace and hope. Plus, when we forgive we resemble Air Force One – FIRST CLASS!