Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks Upon Receiving the Big Brother of the Year Award

January 10, 1961

I have been witness to many of these occasions, but it did not occur to me at those times that I was going to be one of the recipients, and I am very grateful.

This kind of movement is a thing that is so worthwhile in this world. We live so much by prejudice, a readiness to view every stranger with suspicion at least--if not worse--and we forget the great value of meeting others and trying to understand them, trying to put ourselves in their place or in their circumstances. And I don't care whether we are talking about difficulties in our own country or abroad.

All these movements that tend toward promotion of understanding are, I think, worthy of the best efforts of every individual. By this I mean that no matter how he is earning his living or whatever his vocation, all of us have the time and the opportunity to do something decent in the world with respect to the individual, and to which he is bound to respond. There is no question about it, if an individual thinks you like him, he just can't help it, he reacts in that same fashion towards you.

I am very proud of being put in this company with you, although my efforts may not have been those that deserve such language--but I am still happy to be in your company. I assure you I will do my best in the years left to me to promote this same kind of understanding, this same kind of feeling in the world. And maybe in doing so--all of us doing so--we will make progress that is noticeable even to us.

Thank you a lot.

Note: The President spoke at the White House upon receiving the 1960 award from the Big Brothers of the U.S. and Canada for his "outstanding accomplishments and personal contributions toward a better understanding and brotherhood among peoples of the world." In making the presentation, Charles G. Berwind, President of Big Brothers of America, read a citation to which the President referred in his concluding remarks.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks Upon Receiving the Big Brother of the Year Award Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234784

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