The greatness of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was not so much what he accomplished for us. It was rather the substance of his person, and how he went about pursuing his mission. Some may argue that he really was nothing but an accidental tourist who could have gone in any direction. And, as result, we may have had different outcomes of his life and times. However, the true core of Abraham Lincoln, namely his loving kindness, his candor, his common sense, and his implacable sense of right and wrong could not have led to any other destiny than the actual one.
Abe Lincoln was, in the best sense of the term, a rebel. At a time when the world was suffering from self-delusions and self-deceptions not unlike the present day, he stood up and challenged conventions. He correctly perceived them as destructive beliefs, and set out to face them head-on. He was the last person who wanted to tell people they were wrong – and yet he was challenged to say it to the whole world!
But, true to his loving nature, Abe masterfully managed to pull off this mission in the only way it could prove effective: through genuine motivations, sensitivity, tact, recognizing the good in others, and truly learning to love those he was reaching out to. In these ways, Abe gracefully modeled a timeless message for humankind: that in order to improve the world, we must often take unpopular stances, and we shouldn’t be afraid if those stances place us in the minority.
He, in effect, demonstrated his wish thru the campaign message that he himself coined: “Friends don’t let Friends hide behind their destructive delusions.”
There is really no mystery to the Great Man. He was not only honest, but he demonstrably taught us that that while “Live and let Live” may be a more enlightened philosophy than some of its gruesome counterparts, it should never be mistaken for the ideal that we should truly strive for: to LIVE AND HELP LIVE!
(*) Source: Jon Erlbaum