Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Abraham Lincoln's Charge
Below is a quotation from a letter written by the great American philosopher and
16th president of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher:
He will have to learn, I know that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
Teach him that a dollar earned is of far more value that five found or stolen.
Teach him to learn to lose and also to winning
Steer him away from envy, if you can
Teach him the secret of quiet laughter
Teach him the wonder of books, but also give him quiet time to ponder the mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill side
In school Teach him it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas even if everyone tells him they are wrong gentle with gentle, and tough with the tough
Try to give him the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon
Teach him to listen to all men, but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and only take the good that comes through
Teach him to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right
Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel
Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patience to be brave
Teach him always to have sublime faith in his creator and faith in himself too, because then he will always faith in mankind
These are big orders, but please see what you can do
He is such a fine fellow, my son