Sunday, November 30, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 268

'It is much for the young to know that treading the hard path of duty will be noticed and lead to high places.'

- Abraham Lincoln

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 267

‘…It is not just that that day’s four million slaves were freed; their progeny, otherwise destined to be slaves themselves, were freed. And it is not just that the slaves current and future were freed; their white masters were freed from the incubus of slavery. The rest of the American population was freed from it. An institution which was radically unjust in its very essence was overcome. It is not only that a certain number of living Southerners were “held” in the Union; the principle of the American Union was defended, and not only defended but given a deep redefinition, now with equality at the center alongside freedom.’
- William Lee Miller

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lincoln as Thanksgiving Role Model

How's this for a teaser? In 1863, in the depths of the Civil War, Lincoln proclaimed the very first Thanksgiving holiday. Like, the nation dissolving like snow in spring and he was into thanking - WHAT PLANET DID THIS MAN LIVE ON?

Want a Thanksgiving role model? Try Abraham Lincoln.
Look at how Lincoln treated the troops. He thanked them, he encouraged them, he affirmed them. They were simple farm boys, most of them illiterate, and they were interrupting their lives in a fairly profound way, and all because of the following principle of Constitutional law: any attempt unilaterally to abrogate a multilateral contract is invalid in law. Not only did Lincoln enunciate the North's war aims in terms these farm boys would fight to maintain but he also thanked them for joining in the fight.
And he got out of the ivory tower of the White House to do it. He visited them - particularly during those first 24 months when Robert E. Lee and his dazzling cohorts ran rings around that bungling giant known as the North, Lincoln encouraged them, he reminded them that preserving the Union was a cause worth the sacrifice.
He led by example (does leadership come in any other guise?) - that first Thanksgiving gave thanks for an idea of democracy that was very much in doubt, what he once called "the last, best hope of earth."

We could do with following his example. Democracy is  threatened in our day by our abiding addiction to rancor, an addiction every bit as corrosive in our day as the threat posed by an attempt at dissolution by a vastly determined foe in Lincoln's day. Let us give thanks in our day as Lincoln did in his, for an abiding idea - "I want every msn to have a chance!." And let us in our day, as Lincoln in his day, give thanks to those in our circle who do the grunt work to make that ideal a reality. And finally, let us in our day, as Lincoln in his, give practical expression to the astounding thing he said when he won the Presidency in 1860: "In all our rejoicing let us neither express, nor cherish, any harsh feeling towards any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. Let us all all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feelings."
Think of it: 21st century Democrats (they all bash the rich) and 21st century Republicans (they all bash the poor) actually listening to one another -that should hit all of us where we live!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 266

'It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!'
- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 265

'It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged.'

- Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 264

'Kings have always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally if not always that the good of the people was the object.'

- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 263

'Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.'
- Abraham Lincoln