On August 28, 2010 Glenn Beck held his Restoring Honor Rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. It was the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's, "I Have a Dream" which also took place at the Lincoln Memorial. The night before the rally at the Kennedy Center, Pat Gray said, "This building was [filled] by invitation [to] some of the best and bravest pastors, priests, rabbis,
clerics in the country. Tomorrow, we will announce the beginning of the Black-Robed Regiment. And here is what’s amazing, here’s what’s amazing, they keep saying this is a political event, and it is not. It is not a political event at all. I'm convinced that not just this event, but this time period is going to be remembered as the beginning of the great awakening in America."

The next day at the Rally, I overheard two women behind me talking about the Kennedy Center event saying that Beck passionately talked about how he wanted to have a Rally. He didn't know what it would be about, or what he would say, but he wanted to do something great.

The audience waited, sweating in the late August heat. I looked towards the World War II memorial and rally attendees were dipping their toes in the reflective pool and splashing themselves carelessly.
Across the mall a few loud speakers played "I Have a Dream" and a couple of people sat under the shade of the trees or sped by on Segways.


That same summer my mother almost died from a routine surgical procedure when she was given an overdose of blood thinner. During her lengthy recovery we spent the long summer days hanging out in her hospital room and then rehab facility room watching TV, going through her mail, sharing stories. One piece of mail she received invited her to learn about the "Greatest Kept Secret" in the world. The letter was 10 pages long and addressed her personally. The author of the letter, "Kathy" told her if she responded to their invitation my mom could learn how to become a great artist, an excellent gambler, a stronger athlete. I read her the letter and she was enthralled.


The following winter I spent a month in Northern Vermont where it snowed everyday. I brought the mysterious letter with me to Vermont and read and re-read it. I read a pile of self help books during this time, including "The Secret" and "How to Win Friends and Influence People". I listened to "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac every day on repeat and thought about the intersection between American Politics and American Self Help Culture.

-Christine Rogers, 2012


"A smile is nature's best anecdote for discouragement.
It brings rest to the weary,
Sunshine to those who are frowning,
And hope to those who are hopeless and defeated.
A smile is so valuable that it can't be bought,
Begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will.
You have to be willing to give a smile away
Before it can do anyone else any good.
So if someone is too tired or grumpy to flash you a smile,
Let him have one of yours anyway.
Nobody needs a smile as much
As the person who has none to give."

-Dale Carnegie