Saturday, November 30, 2019

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
29 November

Now is the only now I've got, the only now that counts. After all, there is only so much I can learn from the strengths and weaknesses shown yesterday; there is only so much I can do by way of preparation for tomorrow. For there is no more benefit from yesterday's dinner than there is from tomorrow's oxygen. If I want the thing to happen, then I pick the thing up and go with it NOW.

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” - Mark Twain

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
November 30
Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” - Abraham Lincoln

Friday, November 29, 2019

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person,” – Mother Teresa

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
29 November
Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiver-in-Chief, Final Installment
The takeaway: there’s no great secret to Lincoln’s leadership in particular - or to leadership in general. The principle is simple even if the execution is apparently so difficult that few “leaders” choose to employ it: choose to become a servant leader, not the leader from hell [note: there’s no third alternative]. Lincoln’s example shows two things:
servant leadership is always hard and it never fails. Make sure your goal is rock-solid as Lincoln did, your gratitude sincere, your follow-through consistent. Make sure you encourage/affirm/validate your troops when they become despondent as they invariably will, as Lincoln did.

And when you do that for your troops they will go through hell for you – just like his did for Lincoln!

“The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” - Mark Twain

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
November 29
The foreign press was scathing of the new Lincoln administration. The London Morning Chronicle, at the end of 1861, wrote: “Abraham Lincoln, whose accession to power was generally welcomed on this side of the Atlantic, has proved himself a feeble, confused and small-minded mediocrity.”

Thursday, November 28, 2019

“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.” - Mother Teresa

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
28 November
Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiver-in-Chief, Third Installment
The common Northern soldier during the Civil War reacted to the bedrock sincerity of Lincoln like a flower to sunlight. As the 1864 election approached a veteran on furlough was asked whether the soldiers wanted Lincoln re-elected. He said enthusiastically.“Why, of course we do! He mustered us in and we’ll be damned if he shan’t stay where he is until he’s mustered us out!”
Would you believe, it was the soldier vote that insured Lincoln’s re-election in 1864! That’s all the more remarkable because
·      the Civil War resulted in atronomical casualty figures [the Civil War has the grim distinction of producing over 620,000 casualties, more all other armed conflicts in American history combined, from the Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan!], and
·      his Democratic opponent, General George McClellan, known by his troops affectionally as “Little Mac,” promised an end to the war.

Stay tuned: final installment tomorrow.

“The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end there it is.” - Winston Churchill

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
November 28
“Still, to use a coarse, but an expressive figure, broken eggs cannot be mended. I have issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and I can not retract it.” - Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

“Hello. My name is Consistency. If you’re a leader you already know me.” - Anonymous

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
27 November
Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiver-in-Chief, Second Installment
From our perspective, everybody knows the North won the Civil War, so what’s the big deal: slam-dunk, right? Actually, no. For one thing, the vast majority of America’s military talent sided with the South, following the lead of arguably the most able field commander in American history, the dazzling Robert E. Lee. The North, by contrast, was left to build its military talent from the ground on up, and that was destined to take time. In those early months when the fumbling, bungling giant known as the North suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of Lee, Lincoln consistently visited his troops in the field – not merely to consult with his generals but to shore up his demoralized troops, reminding them time and again how essential was their work of preserving what he himself once called “the last, best hope of earth.” I’m sure each visit represented the need, yet again, to ignite a soggy match.
Let me say that again: there’s no arguing with “consistency.” Think of it this way: a husband prepares a cup of coffee for his disgruntled wife; she might then throw it in his face, but she cannot take away the fact that he prepared it for her in the first place.
Like I say, there’s no arguing with “consistency.”

Stay tuned: third installment tomorrow.