Fight Your Battles: A Commentary on Joe Biden

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Joe Biden visited the Capital District at Proctors Theater on November 20th as a part of his American Promise tour, and he shared wisdom from his myriad experiences as the U.S. vice president. However, the one idea that struck me the hardest from his interview was that his dad believed that “character is made up of thousands of little things, not one big thing.”  

The 47th vice president of the United States made it clear in his interview that he was a man of simplicity. With only $55 to $100 thousand to his name during his time in office, The Post claimed that “no other politician has fewer assets than Joe Biden.” While Biden may have flaunted this, he made it clear that his primary goal was helping the people of the United States of America. Another observation that demonstrated his simplicity was that it seemed that every other sentence began with either “my mother” or “my father used to say…” How often today do you hear a teenager begin a sentence with a word of advice from his or her parents? I would say almost never. With an infinite number of articles and posts from countless sources, it seems that the last place we would go to for a word of advice is our own families. However, Biden lived with his parents’ words in his heart: “[Y]ou know my dad used to say … and my mom would repeat it … there is something really good about everybody.” Biden concluded that this is why he decided to go into politics, and why he fought for his view of fair legislation to govern the American people.

While I realize that it is not fair to equate simplicity with character, I believe Biden proved his character in his fight against cancer with his son. Vice President Biden discussed his battle against cancer and desire to run for president in his book Promise Me Dad. In his interview, Biden admitted that he decided not to run for president because he did not want to “fight two battles at the same time.” This is a helpful reminder considering our fast-paced lives that make us goal-oriented and force us to prioritize what we care about most. Biden’s struggles prove that we can demonstrate character not by multitasking until exhaustion, but by fighting one battle at a time and by achieving what we want to achieve.

In conclusion, I would like to leave the reader with one of my favorite quotes from his book, by his son Beau, who has since passed: “[T]rue bravery is when there is very little chance of winning, but you keep fighting.”

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Fight Your Battles: A Commentary on Joe Biden