So much to say so little time to say it during the college semesters. One of my classes that I just love is Abraham Lincoln and Religion. I find it crazy that I am taking this class while Abraham Lincoln’s name is brought up time and time again in the political arena and I think to myself “Things happen for a reason,” and I believe the time and place for me to be in this class during this time was meant to be. This class actually fell into my lap because it fit my schedule. In fact in my mind I looked forward to it being quite boring and was ready for the worst. This class was a pleasant surprise and I just love and look forward to it. One assignment we had to do was a research paper on anything we wanted but of course it had to do with Lincoln. I have to say after taking this class I see Lincoln in a very different light. Lincoln behind the scenes was even more of an amazing man but he was also human.
A little background on Lincoln before I get to the research paper. Lincoln was a Scholar. Lincoln always wanted to know what it was that shaped us as human beings. He also believe we had the power to shape others through our actions. For Lincoln the world was the place of wonderful mysterious, unknown adventures and he embraced these adventures. Lincoln would seek out adventures. Lincoln also believed that communication skills are the success to life something I believe strongly. Lincoln was always open to refinement. He was a man that was never content and always believe that things could be done better. And what was interesting in class as we followed Lincolns heritage is you could see the same traits in his ancestors as the traits that Lincoln would inherit, which in conclusion genes and experience play a big role on our outlook of life. That is why it is so important to listen to other people. They come from different backgrounds and experiences which created the way they think and handle life.
Lincoln was a politician. He was someone who cared about the country and wanted it to succeed, which by the way was not a trait of a politician! He believed that you have responsibility to your community to always be a good citizen and to do your share by participating in your community. Lincoln always felt that conflict in a community or nation could be resolved in negotiation at the same time he believed that the rule of law should be followed, violence is the last resort but should be use. Lincoln believed in being resilient. Lincoln believed that hardship, heartbreak, and adversity will make you a stronger person at the end. Lincoln in his lifetime went through tremendous hardship, heartbreak, and adversity. And lastly Lincoln believed in equality and believe prejudice had no room in one’s life.
Lincoln was a theologian. Lincoln’s experience with religion was a work in progress. He felt religion separates us, faith to Lincoln was bigger than religion. Lincoln was a realist. Reality is God. He believed that the Bible was not an answer book, but a book of ideas to decipher and utilize for our own lives. The bible was extremely important to Lincoln.
As my professor lectured about this and as I read our assignment later I realized one thing: I have the same values and hold these values to a high standard in my life!!!!!! I have not had the same experiences but my beliefs are the same. Many people have these values and these values above are great values to have. What this class did for me was to strengthen my soul into realizing that I need to keep honoring these values in life, stay true to these values. In other words Lincoln made me want to keep practicing these values constantly, realizing the importance of these values in your life.
Getting back to my research I ended up doing something near and dear to my heart. The importance of a great friendship. I did my research paper on Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed. I will blog my paper at a later date which I received a 95 on, but this paper really touch my heart in the love these two friends had for one another. As much as they were the same they were so very different. Their love for politics bonded them, their awkwardness and experience with women bonded them, their beliefs in slavery and their backgrounds could not be more different. Their commitment to one another and respect and regard of each other’s opinion because of the love they had for one another brings tears to one’s eyes. It was a remarkable relationship from the day Lincoln walked into the Speed store with absolutely nothing to his name. No job, no money, just a saddlebag with law books, and little clothing, Lincoln was a broken man with nothing in the world (by the way Lincoln had many business failures and tremendous heartbreak that lead up to this point of standing in Speed’s store).Speed saw that. Speed saw the desperation and depression in Lincoln. From that point on that relationship changed Lincoln’s life. Make no mistakes, this was given the fact that Lincoln has such greatness within him the whole time and people saw that but Lincoln did not, it was Speed that made him realize his potential and Speed would be by his friends side through it all, and Lincoln would be by Speed’s side. The loyalty they had for each other was a beautiful thing for me to read about.
They had a debate society in Speed’s store where people would meet and debate about life and community problems. As I read abut these debates I could picture these scenes of the greats getting together like Stephen Douglas and Abe Lincoln debating their sides (this is even before they debated in public) and hashing problems out around a fireplace. So much to talk about with this. Again I just love this class and have walked away with more knowledge about a great man, Abraham Lincoln.
I will write more about his because it is fascinating and a good life lesson for today’s world. I really want to stress the importance of understanding one another and seeing the good. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have a opinion on the wrong of the world . Lincoln voiced his opinion constantly on things he felt was totally wrong. Lincoln debated harshly and with heart on the things that he believed in strongly.
To thine own self be true.-Shakespeare