God, Country, Notre Dame by Theodore Hesburgh

Summary

  1. Really good autobiography by Father Hesburgh – discusses his childhood, upbringing, studies at the Gregorian school in Rome, involvement in Civil Rights, Nuclear Disarmament, politics in Washington, obviously the running of Notre Dame, etc.
Key Takeaways
  1. The next rule in coping with an excess of personal commitments is to do what you are doing flat out, giving it your full, undivided attention. Don’t worry about what you just did. When you leave it, leave it. Don’t worry about what you have to do tomorrow; time enough for that tomorrow. Give the present task full attention, with no concern for what is coming up next in line or what has just been passed.
  2. The real secret to handling the demands upon you is possessing inner peace. No matter what the problems, the tensions, the pressures, one can only help oneself by thinking clearly and acting calmly and resolutely.
  3. One of the greatest modern heresies that I hear from time to time is that in our modern world on person cannot make a difference. I do not believe that for one moment. I know it is factually inaccurate. And I never hesitate to say so, especially to our students at Notre Dame. One person or group of persons can make an enormous difference in our lives and our way of living.
What I got out of it
  1. Amazing man and it is so incredible what he was able to accomplish in one lifetime. He lived through some of the most stressful but life-changing periods in history with Civil Rights, the Cold War, nuclear proliferation, etc. happening on a day to day basis.

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