If you’re over forty years of age, you likely have distinct memories of one of broadcasting’s most distinctive figures – Walter Cronkite. Was there another anchor worthy of delivering the news when I was a child? If there was, I certainly wasn’t aware.
Many would agree, there was something about this man that set him apart. I wouldn’t have been able to put my finger on it as a kid. And given that the character trait I’m about to attribute to Walter Cronkite is a LEARNED one, it is a trait within the grasp of each and every one of us. What am I referring to? Walter Cronkite demonstrated CONTENTMENT. He had an ease and a calm about him that conveyed a strong inner foundation. When I reflect on his life, I think of a man who’s professional position did not supercede his personal position.
The dictionary defines “hero” as a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
Personally, I need to look no further than the longevity of his marriage to consider Walter Cronkite a hero, a man of noble qualities. On March 15, 2005 he lost his wife of 64 years, Betsy, three weeks before their 65th anniversary. In addition, their family tree consists of three children and many grandchildren that look upon the lives their parents/grandparents lived with great admiration. In fact, The Walter and Betsy Cronkite Fund for Fair Play was established by the Cronkite’s children to honor the lives of their parents.
We can learn alot from a man who shared these thoughts about his wife shortly after her passing –
Walter, wondering about how different his life would have been if he had not detoured to Kansas City, 8/2005: “But I can’t say that my private life would have turned out as happy. Perhaps I might never have found my Betsy, who, after 64 years of marriage, was still as beautiful when she died this year as the day I first saw her. Meeting such a bright and supportive woman brought me a lifetime of joy and tenderness. And for me, that was key.”
Back to CONTENTMENT. Through a Crown Financial Ministries small group study several years ago, I learned that contentment is learned. The Apostle Paul wrote, “for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
I believe contentment breeds trust. And since his passing last week, we’re reminded that in his era Walter Cronkite was dubbed “The Most Trusted Man In America”. In my next post, I’ll share some thougths on this designation attributed to a broadcasting legend.