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“We have nothing in our history or position to invite aggression; we have everything to beckon us to the cultivation of relations of peace and amity with all nations.” Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States. He made many friends, but he suffered tragedy in his personal life; all of his children died young. As president, he made many divisive decisions which were widely criticized and earned him a reputation as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.

Philip B. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt reflected the views of many historians when they wrote in The American President that Pierce was “a good man who didn’t understand his own shortcomings. He was genuinely religious, he loved his wife, and he reshaped himself so that he could adapt to her ways and show her true affection. He was one of the most popular men in New Hampshire, polite and thoughtful, easy, and good at the political game, charming and fine and handsome. However, he has been criticized as timid and unable to cope with a changing America.

Here is a President that probably has the worst reputation as a US President in the history of the US and yet I am using a quote from him. During this time period the US was separated mainly because of slavery. There was a lot of unrest and the people were really uneasy. So you can imagine how difficult it was to develop good relationships. What was interesting to me is even though he was the president of the United States at a time of separation he still had a relationship with the confederate president Jefferson Davis, which of course all the North states appalled. Now, I cannot tell you the reason why President Pierce had a relationship with the confederate president, but he was known as an overall nice guy.

One relationship I would like to pay attention to is the one between Pierce and his wife. The relationships we want are the ones we work really hard to build. Even though Pierce was very well liked in his state of New Hampshire he was a very unpopular president.

Do you go the extra mile to develop relationships you want? What steps do you take to make sure you develop long lasting relationships?

Here are some things to consider when building relationships.

  1. Build relationships with those that have common interests and beliefs. This does not mean they have to go to the same church as you, but certainly you want them to have the same basic beliefs.
  2. Understand that building relationships requires work from both parties. It requires both individuals to make a solid relationship.
  3. Build relationships with the end in mind. You want to build lasting relationships. If you can see yourself befriending the other person for a long time, that would be a relationship worth cultivating.
  4. Be willing to make sacrifices to help each other out. I loved how Pierce took so much time out of his busy life to spend time with his wife and catered to her. Friendships are about supporting and helping.
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