Thursday, February 12, 2009

Being Abraham Lincoln

On this 12th day of February, the day of Abraham Lincoln's birth, I'd like to talk about a simple subject with great benefit or negative consequence. This is humility. How often do we admit to being wrong?

In a letter to General Ulysses S. Grant, President Lincoln admits being wrong on a strategic military route during the Civil War to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi. This was an important victory. President Lincoln wrote, "I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right, and I was wrong."

President Obama did the same recently when asked about the Tom Daschle selection. He said, "I'm here on television saying I screwed up, and that's part of the era of responsibility. It's not never making mistakes; it's owning up to them and trying to make sure you never repeat them and that's what we intend to do." This was refreshing indeed coming from the President.

There are a great many things that President Lincoln deserves praise for, but on this special day, I would like to acknowledge his sense of humility, an attribute much needed in our society.

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