Honoring Abraham Lincoln

15 Apr

Letterbalm Abraham LincolnToday marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. As part of our collective national memory, we all know that he was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865 at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. and died the next morning. As soon as Lincoln took his last breath, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton uttered the prescient epitaph: “Now he belongs to the ages.”  Our sixteenth president certainly has been mythologized, arguably more than any other American figure. But his forthright outlook on life – and his way with words – aren’t in dispute. Ms. L.B. has assembled a dozen of her favorite Lincoln aphorisms. A century and a half hasn’t dimmed their eloquence as powerful LetterBalms to live by:  

  • The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.
  • Every man is proud of what he does well; and no man is proud of what he does not do well.
  • I know of nothing so pleasant to the mind, as the discovery of anything which is at once new and valuable.
  • It was not best to swap horses when crossing streams.
  • Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.
  • The severest justice may not always be the best policy.
  • Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?
  • If I saw a venomous snake crawling in the road, any man would say I might seize the nearest stick and kill it; but if I found that snake in bed with my children, that would be another question.
  • Human action can be modified to some extent, but human nature cannot be changed.
  • The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is why he made so many of them.
  • It’s my experience that folks who have no vices have generally very few virtues.
  • Perhaps a man’s character was like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
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