EDITORIAL – Among the many inspirational people in American history, perhaps one of the most inspiring is President Abraham Lincoln. In his lifetime, he faced numerous major setbacks, yet persevered to reach major triumphs. He truly demonstrated that anyone can be successful in America.
Born in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky in 1809, he had little means or education. He was the model of honesty and hard work along the way to becoming President of the United States, and even then had to fight to keep a nation united amid a civil war, until his untimely death by assassination in 1865. Nevertheless, he left a legacy that has withstood the test of time and he is widely considered to be one of our greatest Presidents ever.
A popular article called “Abraham Lincoln Didn’t Quit,” which is an unsourced piece of literature reprinted in numerous publications over the decades, such as Reader’s Digest collection of humor and anecdotes, presents a list of successes and setbacks Lincoln experienced throughout his life. These include:
- Mother died when he was just a small child.
- Failed in business multiple times.
- Lost several elections for political office at the state and federal level, before winning a few along the way.
- Borrowed money from a friend to begin a business, yet by year’s end he was bankrupt (he spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt).
- Was about to be married, yet became heartbroken when his sweetheart died before the marriage was to occur.
- Sought the job of land officer in his home state, yet was rejected.
- Sought his party’s Vice Presidential nomination, yet got less than 100 votes.
- Elected President of the United States.
These are just some of the trials and tribulations he endured. There was also the death of his son, the mental breakdown of his wife, and more. As you can see, he endured a lot, but still never quit. And, I believe I know why. President Lincoln saw himself not as a failure just because he’d failed so many times. Rather, he was simply someone who had failed. There’s a big distinction there.
And like our 16th President, you have the ability to do the same. Just because you fail, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Stand firm and don’t quit. What history will say about you depends on it!