We are in trying times. Each person over the entire world is affected in some way by the pandemic.

Our present world affairs remind me of a situation that occurred in the early 1900s when one person stepped forward and gave the world hope- Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR's legendary statement "only thing we have to fear is fear itself" at his Inaugural Address has inspired me throughout my life.

Today’s world affairs bring to my mind a book:

The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter

“This is the story of a political miracle -- the perfect match of man and moment. Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in March of 1933 as America touched bottom. Banks were closing everywhere. Millions of people lost everything. The Great Depression had caused a national breakdown. With the craft of a master storyteller, Jonathan Alter brings us closer than ever before to the Roosevelt magic. Facing the gravest crisis since the Civil War, FDR used his cagey political instincts and ebullient temperament in the storied first Hundred Days of his presidency to pull off an astonishing conjuring act that lifted the country and saved both democracy and capitalism.”

The above quote is taken from the description of the book.

I wrote the poem “The Defining Moment” as a reflection on what is happening today and what FDR did to change people’s behavior, thinking and way of life!

John Casey Kalkirtz

“The Defining Moment”

Each day is a whisper of opportunity,

That is present to us.

A moment of truth,

A moment of decision,

A moment of defying as to who we truly are.

Many ignore this opportunity,

To see, to feel, to experience our true self.

They are lost in the day’s happenings.

Lost in self gain.

Lost in trying to acquire recognition.

Lost in feeding the ego.




The heart is beating.

Life is passing away.

The world is in flux.

All actions in life are focused on one tiny moment.

A moment of truth,

A moment of inspiration,

A moment of the spirit.

Do what is right.

Do what is not easy.

Do what your soul dictates.

For it is then,

The realization of what life is occurring.

Not with fan fair,

Not with awards,

Not with applause.

It is the quiet realization that our lives were lived to the best we can.

Give it all you have,

And be ready for the each call.

Take each moment.

Let it teach,

As whom we really are.

True spirit.

True love.

True light.

John Casey Kalkirtz