Flipping through an old Arthur Schlesinger Jr. book at Kupu Kupu Buku Wilda.
You could replace “Roosevelt” and “New Dealers” with “Peace Corps” and “Volunteers:”
“What Roosevelt gave the New Dealers was an opportunity to put ideas to work. Motives, of course, we’re mixed. For some, it was a job, or a passing enthusiasm, or a road to personal power. But for the best of them, the satisfaction lay, as Francis Biddle once put it,
In some deep sense of giving and sharing, far below any surface pleasure of work well done, but rooted in the relief of escaping the loneliness and boredom of oneself, and the unreality of personal ambition. The satisfaction derived from sinking individual effort into the community itself, the common goal and the common end. This is no escape from self; it is the realization of self.
They often suffered frustration and disillusion. They worked to the edge of collapse. They had moments when they hated Washington and government and Roosevelt. Yet for most of them this was the happiest time and the deepest fulfillment they would ever know.”
Boy, I lived this. In Peace Corps and Peaceworker, I lived this.