Abraham Lincoln: His Words Live On!
I readily admit to being a Lincolnolic! I admire so much about the man, the principles he stood for, the strength he displayed, and the character of the man himself. No other President has served during a more tumultuous time in our nation’s history; an argument could be made for FDR, but Lincoln held the position when the unity of this nation was at stake, and for that reason he gets my nod.
I have poured over the words of Lincoln for years now, and today I’d like to share some of his sayings with you and see how they apply to our nation today. I’m wondering what Old Abe would think about the United States in 2012? Would he be proud? Would he be disgusted? Would he grab his coat, head to Washington D.C., and straighten out this whole mess, or would he simply shake his head and walk back into history?
Obviously we will never know, but I’d still like to share his words with you, and interject my own thoughts about how they apply today.
More on this subject!
- Social Problems: Standing On The Shoulders of Giants
It is time to stand up and be counted! It is time to toss aside the complacency and take back our country! We are not helpless, and in our blood is the DNA of warriors and rebels.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
If we falter and lose our freedoms! Let me toss a question in your direction. Do you think we have lost freedoms over the past couple decades? From my standpoint, I think we most definitely lost freedoms after 9/11; with the creation of Homeland Security I think we have seen more and more of our privacy violated, and more instances of restraint of freedom of speech.
This sort of thing happens so quietly. One freedom, or one infringement on a freedom, happens, and nobody notices, or if they do they shake their head and shrug their shoulders. It was only one instance after all; it doesn’t mean anything.
But then another happens, and another, and a couple years pass and you realize that certain infringements are now taken for granted, and they have been expanded upon, and suddenly the Bill of Rights is looking a little tattered and frayed.
Our biggest concern is not the Arab world. Far from it! Our biggest concern is that we will forfeit freedoms won by the blood, sweat, and tears of our forefathers, and we will forfeit those freedoms to the very government that is sworn to serve us.
I am guessing that Lincoln would be disgusted if he were to live today. He would take a look at the special interest groups buying votes in Congress and he would grab a hickory stick and whip every last one of them, and then he would turn the stick on the Congressional leaders who allowed democracy to be purchased.
In the end, greed and the quest for power will destroy us from the inside out, just as it did the Roman Empire, the same empire our founders used as an example of what not to become.
A Taste of Modern Day
- Social Issues: Caterpillar Freezes Wages For Six Years
A story of greed and irresponsibility in the corporate world. The rich get richer and the middle class continues to shrink!
THE VALUE OF LABOR
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
Oh Mr. Lincoln, where are you when we need you? Read that quote again, will you? Capital is only the fruit of labor…..and it (labor) deserves much the higher consideration. Oh dear Lord, give me strength. At least one politician understood, but unfortunately for all of us laborers, he is dead.
I come from a family of laborers. My grandparents toiled on corn farms. My mother worked in a shipyard during WWII, and then worked retail for twenty years after that. My father worked a back-breaking manual labor job for twenty years after serving in WWII, and before that he rode the rails looking for work during the Great Depression.
My parents were both staunch union members, ever-fearful that the benefits and wages that they had fought so hard to earn would one day be snatched away from them by the companies they worked for. They could not envision a time when unions would become extinct like the dinosaurs, and when American products would be made in China and Taiwan.
Make no mistake about it, there have always been labor disagreements between Labor and Management, but for the most part there was a grudging respect and a common goal to keep churning out products that this country could be proud of. Those days are gone! At best we now see a feudal system of Lords, serfs and peasants, and the peasants (us) are on hands and knees in search of scraps.
President Lincoln….please….rise from the dead!
THE ESSENCE OF A PERSON
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
Am I the only one who thinks that character is in short supply today? When did compassion become passé? When did honesty become an inconvenience? When did morality become a four-syllable word whose meaning was corrupted by overindulgence?
Show me your essence is the real thing. Show me that you care for others, and you are capable of love towards your fellow man. If you can show me those things, then I am in your camp for a lifetime.
Lincoln has always been called “Honest Abe.” I wonder how the view is from up high, as he looks down on the deceit, the lack of empathy, and the callousness of his fellow man. Does he have hope for us? Does he consider us a failed experiment, or does he still see evidence of character. He warned us, 150 years ago, that corruption in government was like a virus with no cure; I wonder what he thinks today of that virus as it spreads unimpeded throughout society?
UNITED WE STAND; DIVIDED WE FALL
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Those words of Lincoln were spoken BEFORE the Civil War; the great man saw the division coming, and was convinced that this nation needed to remain as one, or as a nation we would fail the great experiment.
Today…..oh, today….we are as divided as we have ever been since 1865. The division today is between the haves and the have nots, and it is a division that grows larger daily. As a nation we became complacent, and then woke up one day and realized the world we grew up in no longer existed. Now what should we do?
The Age of Compromise is but a distant memory. Sides square off to do verbal battle in the Halls of Congress, and average people square off to do battle in the Halls of Social Services. The rich get richer….not a myth but fact….and the middle class is rapidly disappearing. The eyes of the average citizen are dulled; the stride shortened; the hope diminishing.
Lincoln’s plight was to find a way to bring together two diametrically opposed political viewpoints. The plight today is not one of politics, although we would love to blame the politicians. No, our plight today is an economic one, and the much-needed voice of reason and compromise is nowhere to be seen.
My Thoughts About Potential
REACH FOR THE STARS
“Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.”
Yes, man was made for immortality, and yet today we see so many embracing the mundane and reveling in mediocrity. Millions tune in to watch “reality tv” in hopes that fantasy will somehow infiltrate their empty lives. Millions settle for scraps when they were meant to dine at the head of the banquet table.
Corporations push aside social responsibility in order to pad the bottom line. We turn our heads in order not to see injustice, and the modern credo is every man and woman for themselves.
Lincoln understood that the only infinites are principles of fairness and compassion, freedom and love. Wealth and privilege are doomed to fail as they have throughout history. The selfish and the greedy will fall, as they have throughout history. Those who try to weaken this country will fall, as they have throughout history.
And so we wait, and we dream of the day when man will once again take his seat next to the immortals, as he has been destined to do.
The day is coming, and it will be a glorious day indeed. Liberty is a timeless concept, and if we have learned anything from history, it is that mankind will not be oppressed, will not be silenced, and will not be satisfied as long as man’s unlimited potential is chained.
WILL LINCOLN’S LEGACY CONTINUE?
It already does continue! Wherever one person stands up against injustice, Lincoln lives. Wherever one person refuses to be controlled, Lincoln lives. Wherever one person says no to slavery, whether it be political or economic, Lincoln lives.
His words call to us today….”that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom….and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from this earth.”
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)