Confessions of a Lincoln Groupie 710.1

by Michael Josephson on February 11, 2011

in Commentaries, Leadership

I am an Abraham Lincoln groupie. He is my biggest hero. I have a huge collection of books and Lincoln memorabilia, and my daughter Abrielle was named after him, as was one of our family dogs. And by blind chance, my son Justin was born on his birthday.

I often visit the Lincoln Memorial and stand in awe of his magnificent eloquence and his legacy of honor, courage, compassion, humility, and humor.

Lincoln was a truly self-made man from genuinely humble origins. He became a skillful lawyer and effective politician, but what distinguished him was his character. He earned the nickname “Honest Abe.”

He was a courageous and inspirational leader who really believed in democracy – a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Empathy and compassion were in his blood. He felt the pain of others as deeply as any man could, yet duty made him a leader in our nation’s bloodiest war.

One of his boldest and most significant acts as President was to devise and issue the Emancipation Proclamation transforming slaves into free citizens, but I’m certain he never could have imagined that our country would elect a black man as our president.

Sadly, he did not lead a happy personal life. He lost his mother, a beloved stepmother, a woman he intended to marry, and a son he adored to various diseases, and he had a tumultuous marriage to an unstable and difficult woman. Though often depressed by feelings of inadequacy, he never shirked the huge responsibilities of his office. He often thought of himself as unworthy, yet he was one of the worthiest men who ever lived.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr T February 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

While I am also a huge fan of Abraham Lincoln, we must be careful not to sanctify him as without fault. A little publicized fact is that he tried to broker a deal with the Southern states to allow them to retain slavery as long as all new states to the Union were slave-free. The Emancipation Proclamation only came about as a result of the failure of that plan. Not exactly what you would expect from a pillar of virtue. It

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gabriel garcia February 16, 2011 at 7:38 am

i am also a Abraham fan he was a honest man.Abraham was one of my favorite president of all.the thing I like about him the most is his big hat. even tho he did not live a great personal life he was a honest man and i wish he was still here today.I wish i could have seen him I would have been happy.I guess I am just going to read his books.

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josue fernandez February 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I am so much of a big fans of Abraham. he was a one of our forty four presidents today. he was abolitionist. he was a very great man he helped lots of people. i wish i was there to see him in person.

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Donna Robinson February 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I too am a big fan of Lincoln. The elementary school I attended was named for him, and in the 5th grade we had to learn the Gettysburg address. I was married on his birthday and been blessed to travel to Washington and see his monument. He may have tried to broker a treaty, but it was only to prevent the war he so hated. I wish we had more leaders like him now.

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Abe February 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I had no choice but to identify with Abe Lincoln as an Abe III. My grandfather was named after him being born in 1877, my father Abe Jr, in 1909, and I in 1941. My father had many books, articles, and memorabilia about Abe L.; I have added to them. One thing I clearly remember one recent author said of him:” the only truly adult President this nation ever had, and the one most closely & fully identified with the soul of America.” The more I read of him the more I agree with those statements. I very much enjoyed Michael’s comments; a very good capsule of a very complex, and truly great, human being. Though there is a cottage industry of criticizing and demeaning Lincoln, as there is saying Wm. Shakespeare didn’t write all those amazing words and phrases, methinks it’s born more of the criticizing/doubting demeanors than it is of any facts or genuine legacy. PS I did not name my son Abe IV

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